Reel Love is at times a depressing story. I think that’s just for me personally as it shares so many exact pages from my life that its again… depressing. The first book was kind of the same way, but the second act is far more relatable. I don’t know why anyone that wants to work with film thinks that working at a movie theater is the first step, but that seems to be a common experience. That’s where our story leads us as our nameless main character gets a job not at his favorite small theater, but at the big Cineplex. From there we meet a cast of characters that all love a subgenre of horror and refer to themselves as the Monster Squad. Our main character meets a girl and begins to change from the shy guy to a filmmaker with a vision.
It’s an interesting journey. Our main character eventually films a movie in the theater after they close and during that develops a close bond with these people. And then it’s off to college. We see his life fast forward as he changes very quickly into an adult, which likely sets the stage for the third act.
I really enjoyed the story even if I painfully related to aspects of it. The scenes at the movie theater were all very humorous, but also captured that youthfulness of a first job. Or better put, a job that you don’t really want to keep and is waiting to replace you when you grow tired of it.
What’s better is the main character’s emotional journey. Particularly towards the end of the comic when his relationship with his girlfriend changes and the group is broken up at work. It perfectly captures that moment in which life changes and you’re left with good memories of a time in your life. It also seems very autobiographical, but I really have no idea if it is or not. The dialogue is believable, even the over the top moments. There’s definitely a growth in the storytelling from the first issue, which is nice to see.
The art continues to be a great fit for the story. It’s all black and white, but unlike other comics I read this week it has a good balance of contrast. Neither the black or white dominates the page more than it should which is important. You should be able to see everything that’s going on and not be confused by floating heads or lose the details in the background. The artwork is very dynamic mostly due to the facial expressions. Everyone’s a bit over exaggerated giving the book a distinct look. It feels like an attempt at having the characters over act, but it works for the story and is balanced by real character moments.
I’m very curious to read “Act Three” and see how this series will close out. There’s a big difference between the first and second issues, but they still compliment each other. They’re both incredibly good at what they set out to do. If you enjoy film… no, if you love film, then you should definitely check out Reel Love. Hell, it might just inspire you or at least remind you of why you love the cinema.
Reel Love – Act Two Creator: Owen Michael Johnson Publisher: Changeling Studios Price: £4.00 Format: Print Website