If you listened to this last week’s CBMFP then you’ve already heard me talk about Gregory Suicide, if listening is more of your thing then I would recommend checking that out either before or after this review. Gregory Suicide is a one-shot from creator Eric Grissom, who’s other series Deadhorse is one of my favorite indie gems. Grissom continues to impress me as a writer because each new story manages to be very different from the rest of his work, but still maintain a high quality of writing.
This issue is pretty easy to sum up, but hopefully I’ll capture the charm of the book. Gregory is basically an AI program that’s been given a flesh body. He’s used for espionage and that’s where we find him, on a mission. He breaks into a house, but a new security protocol messes up the plan and he’s unable to get all the information he needed. To escape… he kills himself.
He wakes up in a new body, identical to his old one, with the only difference being that he’s in a tank of water and other crap keeping the body alive. We see scientist around him, one is pissed because the mission wasn’t successful and Gregory’s bodies are very expensive. Gregory then walks us through how many times he’s died and the fact that he’s being replaced by a newer AI.
Grissom is clearly using this one-shot to set up a larger story. In a way this gets all the world building details out of the way and yet manages to keep the story very interesting. After Gregory kills himself the first time you get the idea of the general story, but Grissom manages to keep the reader interested all the way to the end and then hook you once more at the end.
He also manages to keep a strong narration the entire way through. Gregory narrates to us, but his narration is interesting since he knows what he is and what’s happening to him. It makes for an interesting balance with Will Perkins illustrations.
Perkins uses all black and white with grey scale (which is more blue than grey) for his illustrations. The only color used is pink and it really pops off the page. All of Gregory’s captions are pink and few other select choices are pink as well. Perkins linework is very clean and he manages to create a world that feels like the future, but not so distant that it doesn’t resemble our own. I especially enjoyed the montage of scenes showing Gregory’s previous deaths.
I really enjoyed this one-shot. Sure it’s leading into a bigger story, but I’m really curious about that bigger story. Hopefully there’s enough interest for the creative team to continue Gregory’s story because this concept is worth exploring more. Look for it next week on Comixology’s Submit platform.