Owen - Driver For Hire

Posted: Tuesday, June 6, 2006
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Owen - Driver For Hire Creator(s): Troy Kealley
Publishers: Radiotak (Self Published)
From: Australia
Price: $4(AU)

Brave guy this Troy Kealley. I mean to base your comic around the exploits of a mafia wheelman [driver] then you must be able to draw a pretty mean car. And cars in my experience [in both drawing them and reviewing comics that inevitably feature them] are very hard to draw convincingly. It’s OK if your comic can tolerate a car that looks like a cereal box on wheels but this is a serious [kind of] comic and so the cars need to look• well like cars.

So can Troy draw cars, yes he can [whew]. He draws minis, four wheel drive type things and on one occasion one that looks like a Mark 2 Zephyr [now there was a car]. True he then proceeds to write most of them off but what do you expect in a comic featuring a mafia driver.

In fact visually this comic is very appealing. The heavy use of black gives a nice sinister feel as well as setting up a really stark black and white contrast on most of the pages. I’m just not sure about the title though, I mean, “Owen, Driver for Hire,” OWEN. Somehow I just can’t look at the title without smirking.

Back to the cars though, as you would expect in a comic about a mafia driver there are plenty of car chases and car crashes. In fact most of the comic involves cars being chased, shot at, crashed or blown up and sometimes all four.

When the characters aren’t creating motorised mayhem they seize the opportunity to shoot and blow up each other. Owen’s world is the exciting if fictional world of espionage and syndicated crime where the stakes are higher and the death toll higher.

This is an action comic. I lost count of the carnage after six cars and eight people had been dispatched. The first five pages of the comic’s six page prologue are in reality just one prolonged car chase.

Now this could get tedious so it is fortunate that Troy shows a deft hand at witty dialogue and it is this humour that saves the comic. There is a nice use of colloquial language. And Owen’s lines reveal him as a kind of James Bond type figure. You know action man with an eye for the girls. Verging on the corny at times but just drawing back from the brink in the nick of time.

There is some interesting onomatopoeia used to, I have never seen ‘K- TOONCH’ used before but I like it.

This first edition sets a frantic pace but we will need more than pace in the next edition if this title is going to last longer than the cars it features.

In a Word: Brmmm.

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