By Chris Tresson
This book I’m about to review is probably one of the more interesting looking titles available at comic shops this week… This book I'm about to review is Hook Jaw #1 from Titan Comics, written by Si Spurrier with art from Conor Boyle. As far as I’m aware, this series is a reboot of a character from a British comic called Action. A comic which came and went way before my time. I’m not sure of the complete history of the character, but I’m going to go out on a severed limb and say this is the first time the character has had its own series outside of that old weekly comic and I’ve found myself wanting to review it based on the fact that it’s about a shark… and I usually pop my head in on everything Si Spurrier writes. Here we go now…
I really wasn’t expecting this book to be that good in all fairness, so imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying quite a bit from page to page. Don’t get me wrong, the creative team is strong, but how the fuck do you make a comic about a shark interesting enough to readers that they’ll keep coming back for more…?
The answer is “like this”, obviously.
It’s a great read and as far as setups for series go, this gets off on a pretty good foot. We’re introduced to the cast of characters, the sharks and some other elements you may find out on the open water… I suppose I can say pirates because they're shown on the cover, haha... Strong start to the series, and a big finish to the issue.
Si Spurrier’s writing style is a perfect fit for Hook Jaw. I like his ability to make things quirky and I really like his dialogue here. I get a lot of Si Spurrier’s book based on his storytelling ability and the witty dialogue he uses. He’s up there with my current favourite British comic writers. There’s also a lot of shark facts in here and it’s all very clever and what not… He obviously knows a lot about sharks and as someone who’s not that clued up on the evil bastards, I enjoyed learning a bit (Titan have also put a fact file type thing in the back of the book which is nice.) I like what he’s done with the shark here, too. I like reading what it’s thinking. It’s not just a silent, mindless killer and because of the inclusion of its thoughts, Spurrier makes this book more interesting to read and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with the rest of the series… There was a moment for me in here which made me think back to the opening of Spurrier’s Crossed: Wish You Were Here, not because it’s the same thing happening but… I’m not going to explain the link I made, haha. If you’ve read it, you’ll probably click and go back to that moment whilst reading Hook Jaw, haha.
On to Conor Boyle’s art! Firstly, I have to say it’s fucking great to see his name on a mainstream book such as this. I’ve seen Conor’s work before in the British small press and I think it’s great that he’s doing the art for this series. I really enjoyed the art in this issue. Especially the sharks, haha. I’m looking forward to seeing more and I hope he gets some more work off the back of Hook Jaw.
I don’t usually make comments on covers but I’m making an exception here. There’s some really nice variants for this issue and you should definitely check them out. I particularly like John McCrea’s, Brian Williamson’s one and Steve White’s variant is fucking awesome.
So… This issue was a lot better than I was expecting. I’m going to have to make sure it has been ordered in at the shop (I’m hoping it has) and grab myself a copy of it. I suggest you do the same, I think it’s going to be a good’n.
Hook Jaw #1
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Conor Boyle
Publisher: Titan Comics