Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Fourth Action Figure #1 Review!

Yes, it's another bit of self promotion as I continue to get the word out about Action Figure; From the Journals of Richard Marzelak.

Today's review is from the comic reading Blog, 2 Guys Buying Comics:

Chris Reviews: Action Figure #1
posted by Chris @ 9:50 PM

I'm a little late to this party (I'm a little late to most parties), but Richard Marcej was nice enough to send along a copy of his new comic, so I'd damn well better review it! (My words, not his.)

Marcej has worked as an illustrator and designer for Hasbro (you know, that little mom-n'-pop company what makes the robot trucks and army dolls) and Hallmark (the scrappy little living-on-the margins purveyor of sentiment, hackneyed and otherwise).

Action Figure: From the Journals of Richard Marzelak #1 (quite the title, that) is a behind-the-scenes look at Richard's life in the aforementioned industry.

Richard posits a future where a couple at an estate sale uncover the journals of a man named Richard Marzelak. What follows is an under-the-curtain look at the office politics, personalities, camaraderie, and goals of someone who's dreaming of bigger and better things.

So, is it any good?

Yep. It is.

As a #1 issue, it sets up nicely the environment and people Richard deals with on a daily basis, from the frustration of office realpolitik (oh yeah, I went there) to the struggle to balance personal goals with the demands of holding down a job.

There's a sequence near the end of the issue that was particularly striking, where an exhausted Marzelak, knowing he has to get some sleep for a big job meeting tomorrow, can't pull himself away from his own pet project and has to ink "just one more page". Been there, buddy.

It's black-and-white with splashes of red, which I rather liked as well. The drawing, as you might expect from a professional illustrator, is outstanding. Also, the cover is damn near genius, and the whole thing's made with high-quality paper inside and outside, so you're getting some really good production for an indie comic. Additionally, it's a dense read, so you get a sizable chunk of story for your $3.50.

There are a few things I didn't care for --- the framing device, with journals and flashbacks and such, seems unnecessary, and it wasn't quite as funny as I was expecting. But these are minor compared to the overall quality, I think.

The fact is that this is a slice-of-life comic about a guy working in industries rife with potential for juicy stories, events, and personalities, and to me the parts that hit home are where he toils in the office half-dedicated to his job, half-trying to figure out how he can turn his talents to something he loves doing.

Sound familiar? Me too.

If that sounds interesting to you, Action Figure #1 is a good buy. Preview it here!

Good comic, Richard!

And as always, for those interested, you can see preview pages click here
and buy it click here.

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