I’ve never meet Ken Eppstein in person, but I have been kept up to date on all of his comic work at Nix Comics and part of me feels like I know him. Nix is a publication that I’ve always enjoyed because of its connection to music. Ken is a talented writer that has continued to get better and better with each issue of Nix Quarterly, but he’s always willing to try something new. Buck Slaughter marks the first time he’s illustrated a full issue and I have to say that he’s on to something. The art is rough in places, but there’s a charm to it. It reminded me a lot of a cartoon I saw as a child which I can’t for the life of me remember, but it was a good reminder. Eppstein actually writes a letter in the comic in which he explains why he illustrated this book himself and even acknowledges the faults in the art. Not “some of the faults”, but really the only ones that I found in the book. That alone shows growth because he knows what he needs to work on. The other great thing about this letter is that it’s inspiring to other comic creators that may feel that their art isn’t good enough to be in a comic as it was a long journey for Eppstein to get to the point that he was willing to even try.
The book itself is a series of short, but connected stories that center around Buck’s Rekkids. Buck only has two regulars which provide more than a few stories for the issue. Then there’s the random other customers that come in and fill up the rest of the pages. In particular, the story about Buck and the “Squirrely guy” was a standout tale.
Not all the jokes are a knee slapper, but what the issue does quite well is ease you into the world and the style of humor to expect from it. That ends up making it really charming, but enjoyable. With the way it’s structured, each issue to follow will play off of that foundation making those issues better and better because you can always call back to this issue. I say that that with some degree of certainty because I’m familiar with Eppstein’s writing and have seen him do exactly that on his other Nix Comics issues.
It’s a quick read, but it’s entertaining. I enjoyed the music facts and really the stories dealing with customers because anyone that’s done retail will be able to relate. The story isn’t going to pull any deep emotions out of you, but it is an interesting character story with a cool setting. It’s like High Fidelity, but without everything that made it pretentious and annoying… so basically just the record shop part of High Fidelity and a cheap shot from me about the book/movie. Point is, this is a strong first outing for Buck Slaughter and I’m looking forward to more.
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Buck Slaughter’s Book of Rock ‘n Roll Facts #1 Creator: Ken Eppstein Price: $5.00 Release Date: 4/16/16 Format: Ongoing; Print
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