By Dustin Cabeal
The dialogue shines in The Legend of Pinky. The character ooze personality because of this, but it doesn’t necessarily make them interesting characters. The story takes place in the late 20s and follows the titular character of Pinky. Not the best nickname, but as he says it, he’s been called that since birth and isn’t offended by it in the least bit.
The first issue is used to set up who Pinky is in this world. He’s a mid-level mobster that would rather be doing anything other than being a mobster. He likes his nose candy and hanging out naked with African American women. Something that should be pointed out instantly is that racial slurs are never used once in the book. Something I appreciated because while that may be “authentic” to the actual era, it has very little to do with the flow and structure of the story. Pinky misses out on a job and ends up having to finish the job. There are some twists and turns that are for you to read rather than for me to spoil.
I’m torn on this story. On the one hand, I liked it, but other the other there was just something missing. Something that didn’t quite hook me. I’m not particularly crazy about gangster stories but have been hooked before when the story was good. Pinky isn’t quite as charming as he should be, but maybe that’s the point. There’s also of side stories going on that haven’t factored into the main plotline just yet. There’s something here, but it feels incomplete. Part of that might come from the pacing which has a lot of highs and lows. One minute there’s action, the next there’s a lot of talking and then some more quick action.
The artwork looks like two different styles at times. The characters are very detailed and photorealistic. Pinky and a few other characters are sometimes inconsistent, but it’s not bad. The backgrounds don’t have as much detail and are usually very clean, while the characters have extra brush marks and line work.
Then there’s the coloring which is mostly in black, white and grays, but there is a light blue and pink that’s used as accent colors throughout the issue. It works, but it gets redundant after a while. The pink and blue lose their meaning after a while and serve the same point as the gray. It’s a style for sure, but it’s not a powerful effect on the artwork. Perhaps if either color had been used with a different intent, it might have been a stronger effect on the story.
I think I was on the fence still when I recorded this week’s podcast and talked about The Legend of Pinky. I would likely read another volume even though this first didn’t resonate that powerfully with me. There’s something there, but it’s not quite to the surface just yet. Hell, I’m even torn on the score as part of me feels it’s just a bit below average and another part feels as if it hits that bar. At the very least the biggest compliment I can pay The Legend of Pinky is that it made me think a lot about it.
Dustin's Note: There are racial slurs used, but given the subject matter the "N" word is never used.
The Legend of Pink – Book 1
Creator: Craig Johnson II
Publisher: Carbon Age