Current Reviews


Spellgame #1

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2005
By: Mike Storniolo

Writer: Dan Mishkin
Artist: Ramon Perez

Publisher: Speakeasy Comics

Comments: Speakeasy Comics has been really impressing me lately, and its Spellgame is no exception. Right off the bat, that beautiful cover by Darwyn Cooke catches my interest and starts my mind going. Dan Mishkin (of Blue Devil fame) and Ramon Perez (Butternut Squash) have put together an all-around solid book with a great heap of magic, mystery and Las Vegas action. The smooth lines and bright colors bring the best out of the best in Mishkinís script.

The concept of the book starts off pretty simple; John Dodge is a performer and street card magician; that lasts about three pages before things take a turn for the best. I donít want to give it away, but some ďillusionsĒ prove to be real, and a few strange encounters really set the stage for the future of the book. John Dodge and his pal Harry seem to have their work cut out for them by the end, between the Suicide Jack, choosing a side and dealing with the fact that magic just may be real.

While reading the book, I'm struck by the fact that Mishkin really provided a tight script. The story starts off normal enough and then progressively becomes more interesting and intense as things start to unfold. Iím a real sucker for anything that deals with the paranormal, supernatural and mystical/magical in comic books, especially when itís done right. The characters are well defined, and behave as people of their type would be expected to. Just the right amount of information is given to introduce the book, but so much more is left open to be expanded on. I want to know more about the suicide jack and if heís real, I want to know more about Johnís ďvisitorsĒ and more important, just whatís going on with Harry. Any book that entertains me and leaves me wanting more of it by the end is well deserving of three bucks.

I first saw Ramon Perezís artwork through his web-comic
Butternut Squash (Soon to be collected by Speakeasy) and enjoyed it. Iíve been curious to see what he would be able to do on a traditional sized comic and itís been a pleasant surprise. Itís a tad (just so slightly) less detailed than the web comics, which is understandable, but the panel-to-panel transitions and energy in the line work is more than worth it. The coloring adds depth to the work, sets a Las Vegas tone, and makes the right scenes pop.

Final Words: All-in-all, Iíd say that Spellgame is another winner from Speakeasy Comics. Each month my pulls for their titles seems to grow and grow, and itís all well deserved. They really have some high quality books, and titles like Spellgame just add to my confidence in them. A unique, interesting and overall exciting story thatís matched with some dynamic line work, Spellgame #1 is definitely worth its fair shot.

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