Black Star #1

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2002
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Black Star #1 Creator(s): Jeff Zwirek
Publishers: Self published
From: USA
Price: .75 ¢ (US)

This little gem of a comic presents us with a what happens to a slightly chubby boy when he visits a shopping mall to buy some comics. On the way out he becomes the target of some local bullies. It's a straight forward story, but somehow Jeff manipulates the basic elements of a story we all know in a way that gives a rather dramatic emotional punch. Reading this book really made me feel for the main character, even if he is a bit over emotional about events. I was completely immersed in his emotional world, stung by the taunts of the bullies and hurt by the rather callous reaction of his mother to his call for help.

Each panel is used to maximum effect in the story. One panel of the boy standing outside in the cold wind, clutching his comics to his chest tells you exactly how the kid feels, and puts you right in the middle of events. Jeff's drawing style is reminiscent of the work of Seth in its use of shading and the light yellow paper stock used. It has a New Yorker cartoon style that is both sophisticated and simple at the same time.

This short comic sticks in the mind of the reader long after you are finished with it. With a minimum of dialogue the book presents a dramatic character study that could so easily have been full of bathos in the hands of a less skilled creator.

In a Word: Wow.

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