Written by Jacob Semahn. Art by Jorge Corona. Colours by Jen Hickman. Letters/Design by Steve Wands.
As the Internet has grown and evolved over the years so have the dangers. No longer does do people need to worry about just viruses and or email scams, but the potential of private information or photos being spread all over the web for any one to see. The result can often be humiliating and impact those who are effected by it.
No. 1 With A Bullet, the latest Image comic by Jacob Semahn and Jorge Corona, explores the dangers of the Internet and how the evolution of it means that our lives get less and less private. While this is explored through technology that is fictional, the consequences can ring true today. Not only that, but when something that’s intended to be private is released into the wide open web, No. 1 With A Bullet shows what happens next – whether it be public ridicule, debate or something more dire.
This very thing happens to Nash Huang, an assistant on a news-based talk show, whose life is turned upside down when something very private enters the public space. How this enters the public space is still a mystery, and one that will drive the comic forward into future issues.
If you’re strictly a fan of the Marvel/DC house-styles Corona’s art will be a bit out of your comfort zone, but if you’re open minded when it comes to art you are really going to enjoy it. Corona adopts line work which is animated, with almost a rubber-like quality to it. This rubberiness works great at creating expressive characters which through their facial expression, body language and even in some instances in how their clothes move.
Corona has elements of high contrast, implementing heavy blacks, that are supported by thin lines when detail is required. This implementation gives the art depth, but also makes the surroundings more interesting. On the rare occasion this can make smaller panels look too busy, but Corona seems to be aware of this and implements empty space where necessary.
Corona adopts interesting panel construction through the issue, which reflects the chaos of the narrative. When Nash’s life is commonplace the page is built with a solid grid. It’s rigid and orderly. Although, the panels on the page become chaotic when Nash’s life begins falling apart. We see panels of different sizes, varying shapes and the way that they’re positioned tends to overlap each other. This juxtaposition is a brilliant way to ramp up the tension of the script and is another way of expressing emotion beyond the characters.
Guided by Jen Hickman, No. 1 With A Bullet adopts an interesting and varied set of colours which reflect different tones and scenes. Through this implementation of colours, Hickman is not merely adding colour to the page but also adding extra layers of tone that add to telling the story. While implements a mixture of muted colours for darker and night scenes, she also adds worth yellows and oranges into the daytime. (It really makes the book feel like it is set in Los Angeles.) Although, where he colours really shine is in the more chaotic moments, where her choice of colours is more surreal through blues, pinks and reds.
Overall, I highly recommend No. 1 With A Bullet for it’s near-future premise, which could easily reflect today. This premise is backed up with some great visuals, that add tension and tone to the narrative in a way that a straight telling cannot. It will be interesting to see how long this series will run for and whether there is a long form story planned or if it is a miniseries. Whatever the case is, I am along for the ride and hope you will be too.
Trevor Van As
Trevor Van As is the founder of How to Love Comics and has loved comics all his life. When he's not reading or talking about comics he can be found eating frozen yogurt and dancing like no one is watching.