By Dustin Cabeal
I doubt I’ll be able to describe Street Tiger better than the cover: “A weird revenge thriller” is as about as perfect of a description as possible. Ertito Montana’s four issue mini-series Street Tiger is definitely weird, but the type of weird I enjoy the hell out of in comics.
We meet the city of Nam, which is where the story will be taking place. It doesn’t have much personality in the opening pages, but by the end, it’s a character in the story. Two men are having Shushi and beer while one of them talks about the place. By the time he was done, I wanted to eat there. Too bad his friend didn’t get to because a character wearing a motorcycle helmet comes in and starts beating his ass. Why? We are not privy that info just yet, but he leaves a message with the friend implying there will be more occurrences like this.
After that, we’re introduced to some detectives that show up on the scene, and it becomes clear that Montana has an impressive way of writing dialogue and conversations. They’re very natural flowing as the two detectives talk about hot dogs and then seamlessly move into their jobs and an interview with the surviving friend. The story then moves on to a robbery and two new characters. It's here that the city becomes fleshed out more as we learn about how it’s divided by gangs and how this theft is going to start something big, even if it’s unbeknownst to the robbers.
There’s a good amount of mystery to the story. I won’t complain about that, but I do think a little more back story would have helped that mystery be more interesting than vague. That’s my only gripe with the story because the numerous characters and their constant conversations felt natural and interesting.
The art is strange and very different than what even I’ve seen in comics which was a huge plus for me personally. I will likely be off-putting to the average superhero reader but make no mistake of the skills that have gone into this issue from Montana. Montana is a solid visual storyteller, and even though he has the character’s converse, he also knows when to let his artwork do all the talking. The art and story are very balanced in that way.
There are only four issues in this mini-series, so we’ll have to see how the subsequent issues fair, but this first issue is a hell of a start. I would encourage anyone that’s been looking for a small press/indie book to sink their teeth into to check out Street Tiger. Street Tiger is different, adventurous in its storytelling and art style and let's not forget weird. Street Tiger is a weird book, and I’ve been dying to read a weird book for a while.
Street Tiger #1
Creator: Ertito Montana
Publisher: Amigo Comics