Friday, November 29, 2013

Review - Tilt-Shift: The Quiet Profession #1


"It didn't seem real to him just yet."

Wars are fought on the battlefield, despite what all the news feeds will tell you. Getting on the battlefield can be done through a variety of different roles, including photographer. The combat photographer is often an unsung hero of combat and Tilt-Shift: The Quiet Profession #1 is offering a look at the role. The issue is written by Jose L. Torres, illustrated by Josh Hood, inked by Michael Babinkski, colored by Mike Spicer and lettered by Thomas Mauer.

Freddie Blythe is a combat photographer, getting right in the thick of the action to get the shots that make the pages of magazines and newspapers around the world. He's attached to the premiere Kill/Capture force in the country, following Team Galahad through the Korengal Valley in search of an expert bomb maker. As it turns out, taking pictures in a war zone manages to be a lot more difficult than taking a selfie at the mall.

Torres taps into the day-to-day of the military action that focuses on finding some of the world's greatest enemies. There's a good dose of reality in the pages, helping to effectively convey the true drama that comes with the combat zones. Freddie's routine is extremely dangerous and is tasked with a very grimy job, but he does it with great enthusiasm and care for his craft. That's part of the book that is extremely interesting, in that it sheds light on an aspect of war that is often forgotten as everyone views information about it. The images and video have to come from somewhere and their origin is often taken for granted, despite the intense settings that the photographers go through.

Hood's art is very well done, effectively taking the reader into the war scenes. Considering it's a book about photography, Hood infuses the characters with a wide range of emotion in their facial expressions. The book has a worn down feel similar to what comes from sand eroding buildings that keeps the reader right in the thick of the action, sharing the feelings that a combat photographer is feeling. Panel layouts are pretty standard, with Hood relying on the standard layout of rectangles and very little in the way of insets or overlays. There are a few pages where there is some violence depicted, but the gore isn't overly excessive.

Tilt-Shift: The Quiet Profession #1 is a really interesting book that offers a rather unique look at the theater of war. The main protagonist is one that not a lot of people really think about and the fresh perspective offers up an equally fresh storytelling mechanic. Torres and Hood make a great team as their work complements one another very well. It's a book that demonstrates a healthy knowledge of war and a great sense of reverence paid to the troops that serve in wars across the world. Tilt-Shift: The Quiet Profession #1 is a book that merits some attention if you're looking for a new protagonist and story to open up some new horizons in the world.

Tilt-Shift: The Quite Profession #1 is available now via Comixology.

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