By Dustin Cabeal
While looking at the cover for Prospects, I instantly played the “one of these things is not like the other” game and focused in on the guy dead center. I knew in a heartbeat that he was going to be the main character due to his annoyed look and disheveled appearance.
What followed was a story that was a bit confusing, but ultimately interesting as we meet Colin, the man from the cover. He’s deciding between buying Chocolate Milk or Vodka which happen to be next to each other on the shelf of the grocery store. I do have to call this out because when have you ever seen chocolate milk next to the alcoholic beverages anywhere?
Moving on. We get three examples of his life being shitty and Colin acknowledges the rule of three in his narration. There’s also intentionally vague dialogue about Colin’s parents being chosen, but to get a clearer picture we need to meet Andrew. He’s a high school kid who seems to be extremely popular. He decides to wear sweatpants and his month freaks out on him and tells him that everyone is watching and that he could be swooped away at any moment. He changes and heads out and a parade of people instantly follow him, and we discover the biggest hint of all when a “friend” asks him if he’s leaning towards Grabowski’s zombies or Farsimov’s Cyborgs.
My little ears perked up because… what the fuck was either of those two things? The story goes on until fully revealing the world to us which is that these two mad scientists are at war with each other and the town is where they get their, wait for it, prospects.
What’s interesting is that everyone seems to be cool with this. They’re happy to be picked with the exception of our main characters Colin and Andrew. Whereas Colin wasn’t picked and let his family down and Andrew is expected to be picked and doesn’t want anything to do with it.
The writing is exceptional. Even when I wasn’t sure what was going on I was still interested. Colin’s responses to things were realistic and even though he’s treated like dirt he still calls it out, even if still letting it happen to him. That spoke wonders for his character and the skill of writing. The shift to Andrew isn’t quite clear yet. Will these two characters’ cross paths and what will their end goal be? I don’t know, but writer Maxwell Majernik succeeds in making me interested to find out. I can’t tell you how many comics, indie or otherwise, fail to make me interested in reading more. It’s the hardest thing to do sometimes, but if you’re a strong creative team you can make it look easy.
Jean Franco’s art is in my opinion heavily influenced by Peter Bagge. Which was all right with me. I enjoy Bagge’s artwork, but where Franco is different is that his work is colored. I’m not saying that one has a leg up over the other, but for Franco’s work, the coloring elevates his style and the story. It gives it a huge amount of personality. The coloring makes the town look and feels real. Like people are moving around when we’re not looking at their pages. That and the violence was highly enjoyable.
Colin may hate this town, and I can’t blame him, but then he can’t blame me for wanting to see what happens next in this strange world of zombie’s versus cyborg mob story. Which would be enjoyable on its own, but not nearly as enjoyable as following the people that live in the town.
You can support the Kickstarter for the first volume of rospects running now until 11/12/16 or you can wait for the first issue to be released in December from Alterna Comics.
Keep making comics.
Writer: Maxwell Majernik
Artist: Jean Franco