I wasn’t immediately sucked into the world of Freelance Blues. The story is largely predictable in that our main character Lance stubbles into danger no matter what job he seems to take on. Point in case his first job of the story is as a telemarketer. About half way through the day he discovers that his boss is using the call center to fuel rage and anger into his god Kali. The God comes to life and Lance jumps in to stop the raging god. It becomes painfully clear that this isn’t the first time this has happened to Lance and it definitely won’t be the last time. After a long night he heads home and in the morning is given a hard time about the job from his twin sisters that he looks after. We get a quick status quo of Lance’s life and the difficulties he faces bringing up his sisters.
After that Lance is onto another job and of course it turns out about the same. Though the outcome of each job becomes a bit predictable, it’s how Lance handles things and what’s going on in his personal life that actually drive the story. It’s at this second job that Lance learns that his Grandfather is dying. Only having enough money to send the twins on a flight, Lance has to drive across country to see his Grandfather and of course take odd jobs here and there to pay his way.
The story is actually pretty good. The ending is a little weak and possibly sets the stage for more, but I don’t know if I would read more. I liked what I read here and think that the story is actually very tight. You really care about Lance and his goal to keep his sisters with him. The rest of the family is well off and think they should take care of them, but Lance does everything and anything to prevent that from happening. It’s this interesting balance of family and monster hunting that ultimately becomes the charm of an otherwise formula based story.
One thing that doesn’t quite work for the story is the transition between chapters. Since this is a collection you really notice how quick the endings are and that the openings rarely callback to anything from the previous chapter outside of the family’s story. In particular, my favorite chapter about the gnomes had a very humorous ending that could have somewhat changed the story for the better. Instead it’s completely gone by the next chapter which I found to be one of the weaker chapters of the series. It’s not so terrible that it’s a deal breaker, but it does kind of invalidate the endings of the chapters.
The art is fairly consistent. It’s in all black and white and while the details vary, it’s not too bad. At times it does look like a comic that’s crying out to have a colorist take a crack at it. I’m fairly certain that Vicki Tierney handles all of the art on the series and you can definitely see a leap in skill towards the end. The art grasps the black and white concept and begins using the negative space for the betterment of the story. The character designs are consistent throughout the series and overall I liked the designs. There was just a familiar and fun feeling to them.
While Freelance Blues isn’t the strongest or most original story I’ve read, I did find myself liking it quite a bit. To the point that I stopped watching a TV show midway through to finish the story. It may not captivate you, but it’ll definitely entertain you so if you’re looking for a family story in the midst of a monster hunting story, then check out Freelance Blues.