Frater Mine #1

Posted: Wednesday, July 26, 2006
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Frater Mine #1 Writer(s): Sean McGrath
Artist(s): Juan Romera
Publishers: Comixpress (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $2.95(US)

Matt's a teacher. The kids at his school can be a bit of a handful but he has a special gift that helps keep the more belligerent ones in line. One word and a Jedi mind trick can make the rudest boy think his shoes are on fire. Out of the blue Matt gets a call from an old school friend. The chat isn't about anything much but Matt senses that something is wrong, and he feels the need to track his old friends down and travel back to his hometown. He and a friend find much more than they bargained for...

In his short essay regarding the genesis of this story Sean talks about his wish theta the story be mature, focusing on the characters and their feelings, and he more than succeeds with a story that has restrained action, but lots of interesting interactions between characters who come across as adults. We don't learn that many facts about them, instead we get a strong sense of a shared trauma that saw them drift apart.

The cast of characters is engaging, with only hints at shared special powers. They talk a lot; sometimes their cryptic exchanges are too high on the word count but low on information.

Juan's illustrates the story well, with strong graphics that gives the events a sense of grim reality and spooky ambience. The characters are present as individuals with their own sense of fashion and full of personality. The use of emanata to suggest the exercising of psychic powers is done well, just enough to alert the reader without being overdone.

His issue hooked me. The plot is spooky without going overboard with violence or gore, the characters are quirky, the art engages. It's a book that shows the power of restraint on every page and especially on its mysterious cover.

In a Word: Tension.

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