Johnny Public #9: Entering Bridgewater
You may remember that the main complaint I had from the previous issues was that there were too few pages and not enough of a chance to get what was going on issue by issue. Well, this is an extra dollar, sure, but well worth it because it’s a whole 20 pages and plenty more time to let you know what’s going on. Which means, of course, that a lot of it is still a complete mystery, but there’s enough going on here to keep me clamoring for more instead of just wishing I had a few more pages to go on. It looks like (and I’m certainly no expert here) this is the start of another story arc in the Johnny Public universe, which I explained in those other reviews, so I won’t go into it at length here. It starts with a traveling salesman seeing an unconscious girl on the road, so he stops to help. It turns out that a lot more is going on here than he thought, as zombies (apparently) are coming back to life, and he gets enlisted in the fight to get them under control. Which sounds like the most simplistic thing in the world, but the story takes some serious twists after that that I’m not going to spoil for you here. Suffice it to say that I can’t wait to see what happens next and I still can’t believe I don’t have the first story arc. Maybe next year at SPACE I’ll have a few extra bucks…
Johnny Public #1
If you’re curious about this comic, go ahead and read my review of their preview. Go ahead, I’ll wait. What you have here, on its face, is the story of a man trying to find the right word to finish a sentence in a novel he’s writing. He’s at a bar and gets advice from what appears to be a stranger, then that’s it for the comic, as it’s only six pages. That, by itself, would be a pretty stupid comic. Luckily for us there’s a panel by panel (mostly) synopsis of what was really going on there, and how the bar is inside the head of the main character. It’s a fascinating central concept and you really can pick this apart panel by panel, at least you can once you know what’s going on. And that’s a fundamental problem I have with this (and other currently poor people are probably going to have): $1.50 per every six pages of actual story is ridiculous. The cover looks great, don’t get me wrong, and I saw them all lined up at SPACE and they look great together. The way to go with this series, a lot more than most I think, is to get them all in a graphic novel and go from there. There’s just no way to get a good idea of the story in these tiny volumes. I’m intrigued by what I’ve seen and there just might be a really great story here, so don’t think that I’m blasting this comic for that reason. Anyway, there’s contact info up there, this is $1.50, and I think you could do a lot worse than get a collection of these stories, but one by one I just don’t think they’re worth it…
Johnny Public: Out of the Wilderness
OK, you can all see that this is only a preview, right? Because that point needs to be perfectly clear before I launch into anything. This is a sample of an (apparently) already published 80 page graphic novel about a man named William Denn. William has many, many personalities in his head, and the book is (supposedly) about all of them trying to work out their places in the internal hierarchy. I’m throwing all of those qualifiers in because the preview didn’t make much clear at all. To give you an idea of my reaction, here’s how I read this comic: read the intro from Wendi which, frankly, didn’t tell me much of anything about the actual story. Then I read the 8 page comic, followed by the issue by issue synopsis, followed by the glowing reviews on the back cover. Just a friendly hint to the both of them: if I learn more from the reviews than from the actual preview, you could have put out a better preview! Anyway, after I read the reviews, I turned the book over and read it again, hoping that it would make more sense. No such luck. So, what am I trying to get at here? Just that I can’t say much about this series one way or the other. It seems like an interesting concept, and the reviews were glowing, not that that tells you much. I’d say at least give the first issue a shot to see where it went, but I would definitely tell you to avoid the preview. Here’s a website, maybe some confusion can be cleared up there!