Tear Stained Make-up #1

Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2005
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Tear Stained Make-up #1 Creator(s): Marcos Perez
Publishers: Cliffface Comics (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $2(US)

I know we are dealing with an adult comic here because it’s all about relationships and the characters use the F word. It is also obvious that we are in for a long haul with this title. Chapter One does little more than set the scene and introduce the players. This need not be a bad thing it all depends on how interesting the situation and the characters are.

The storyline present here leans towards soap opera. A jilted lover attempts suicide, handsome doctor with stubble happens to be in the near vicinity, you get the picture. Fairly tried and tested territory. What does draw the reader in though are the characters and the fact that the pace of this first chapter is dealt with in a very effective manner. Not a heck of a lot happens but what action that there is is obviously important and meaningful.

There is a genuine tension between the two main characters as we observe their very public break up. It is obvious that there is a lot of history here and that is another "hook" that draws the reader in. Plenty of unanswered questions to intrigue the reader. Their sidewalk argument is powerful which is just as well because the arrival of the "heroic" doctor verges on the corny.

The introduction late in the comic of another important character, Tildy the librarian adds to the soap opera feel of this first chapter. Like a good soap there is enough material introduced but left incomplete to ensure further and continued interest and the change of pace to something a little less bleak is to be welcomed. I get the strong feeling that Marcos could write a pretty good script.

The art is vaguely Japanese influenced in places but on the whole belongs to the school of comic art that prefers bold and heavy lines. Taking the "heavy" subject matter this lack of subtlety in the art is appropriate and effective.

Tear Stained Makeup is a quick read but effective in so far as it does present mostly believable realistic characters and places them in an interesting situation. This is not really my thing but I must admit that the carefully structured plot does more than enough to make me want to read Chapter Two. Time will tell if the early promise is fulfilled.

In a Word: Pained.

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