Tales From the Flat #1

Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2006
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Tales From the Flat #1 Writer(s): Laurence Powell
Artist(s): Oliver Lambden
Publishers: Modern Monstrosity (Self Published)
From: UK
Price: £2.50(UK)

In which the readers are introduced to four blokes in their early 20's who have just moved in together to a high-rise tenement building. Oliver works a comic shop and has a practical approach to life. Laurence is a wise arse slacker who thinks he is the bees knees even thought he seems pretty useless. Connor is a it of a poser and orders the others around a lot, and the final tenant to move in is Fred, an angel faced university drop-out who seems too nice to be true; I suspect he devours babies or something.

From Man About the House (Two's Company in the US) to Friends, a bunch of people in the one house makes for a useful base for storytelling to develop. Conflict, comedy, pathos - a flat can produce it all. This comic does none of these. It's the introductory episode, so it has to name all the characters, give us some minimal back-story and show us something of each characters personality. The plot is fairly low key, and there are only a couple of moments of physical humour to up proceedings.

The characters never rise up above pretty basic character types. They don't have emotions to speak of. Laurence and Connor behave badly in seemingly aimless manner. The deserve a big smack. It's not a very entertaining or interesting group of guys so far, and their lack of insight makes them seem shallow.

Oliver's artwork presents events in an attractive and lively manner. The characters have vivid facial expressions that portray emotions well. The use of gestures is also well done. It's a style of drawing that would suit visual comedy, so perhaps this indicates where the series might head in future episodes. At the least we should hope that the artwork is reproduced with slightly higher contrast, because the "white" is pretty much smudgy light grey on most pages.

The cover and the artwork (Nice colouring by Adam Clark) are attention grabbing, the narrative lets it slip away. There's potential in the mix of characters but this issue doesn't give any indication of what direction it will be heading.

In a Word: Flat.

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