By Kelly Gaines
Does your mom want you to stop conducting interrogations in her kitchen? Have your disco days put you at serious risk for throwing out your back? If so, you’re not as alone as you may think.
Let me start by saying that I have never experienced a comic book quite like The Black Crown Quarterly before. That may say more about my need to branch out than it does about the book, but this issue was a ridiculously fun read with a unique and well-executed format. Imagine a mix of short, well-written articles surrounded by intermittent stories ranging from hilarious comedies to crime noir- all of which have top quality writing. As a comic book reader, it’s easy to pick up on when a writer is just phoning it in to reach a deadline, and when they’re dedicated to delivering high-quality work regardless of the subject matter or page count. As of issue #2, Black Crown is still delivering strong.
I appreciate the diversity of characters these narratives include. I’m not just talking about the kind of inclusive diversity that readers have come to either admire or despise, but the differences in character to character that make every storyline and every page richer as a text. We have a family with a clear criminal past, but the crime element is undercut by the innocent youngest daughter, Jasmine, who taunts her older sister the same way any child does in spite of the bound captive in their home. Their exchange is broken up by scenes from the Black Crown pub, where a seemingly ditzy barmaid converses with a cynical bible thumper, neither of whom seem to be on the same page, or even the same book, as the other. In one book, readers are given a wide range of age and race, with each individual character carrying its own weight. It’s one of those fun reads that only happens when a reader feels comfortable enough to drift from viewpoint to viewpoint without worrying about aligning themselves with the writer’s view of the world at large. The brief segments and multiple storylines per issue help with this simplicity.
Every page was a pleasure to read, and I am fully looking forward to the next installment. Simply put, this book is doing diversity EXTREMELY well. If you enjoyed Assasinistas, High School Hooker Vigilante Witch, or any of the clever, irreverent comics that have been gaining popularity lately, I would recommend trying out Black Crown Quarterly (and picking up issue #1 as well).
Black Crown Quarterly #2
Black Crown/ IDW Publishing