Friday, December 19, 2014

Review - Holy F*ck #1


"You don't get it, do you? There's only one God. And he's sent his son to save the world!"

The beauty of organized religion is the constant of a deity (or deities) at the top. There's someone you know is there; someone who you can presumably put your faith in without question. When that someone does something that causes you to lose faith, then perhaps it's time to find another faith. Or just try to fix that person like Sister Maria does in Holy F*ck #1 from Action Lab Entertainment. The issue is written by Nick Marino and illustrated by Daniel Arruda Massa.

Why is a nun barging into a seedy Tokyo karaoke bar in the middle of the night to find a sleazy naked man smoking meth? Because that man is Jesus and Sister Maria needs him to help her and Satan stop humanity's mythological gods from destroying the Earth.

To say that Jesus Christ has something of a benevolent personality is a bit of an understatement. Yet Marino would rather take that understatement and completely detonate it, presenting a vision of a Jesus with a propensity for sex, drugs and rock and roll. It's hardly the first time he's been portrayed that way, but Marino uses it to his advantage for shock value in Holy F*ck #1. That value is furthered by the coarse language and seemingly lewd acts on the part of all the characters; actions which seem to revolve around a plan by Zeus and Isis to take over the world. Discerning that part is pretty obvious, but the details are pretty scant as to why Sister Maria, Jesus and Satan are teaming up to stop them.

Massa's illustrations are just as crude as the story itself. His work almost feels as if it was hastily scribbled somewhere on the fly, as Sister Maria and Jesus boast little in the way of intricate details. There are points where Isis looks like a man and only Zeus really exhibits a look that one would associate with deities. Just about every female character boasts over-exaggerated lips which distract the reader from the rest of the character models. The abundance of extremely dark colors (blacks specifically) mutes the outlandish nature of the book at points. Massa's sense of perspective is also a little off-kilter, which may be done as a means of reminding the reader that this book is pretty ridiculous at its core.

Holy F*ck #1 is a very twisted, mature take on the concept of religion and its deities. Sister Maria is the main character and she's enlisted the help of Jesus and Satan to stop the other deities from having their way with the world as she knows it. Marino's script isn't shy about vulgarities throughout, even if the story is a little light in terms of detail. Massa's illustrations feel very cartoony and are effective at carrying the plot, serving as a visual reminder of the madness that Holy F*ck #1 really is. Holy F*ck #1 certainly isn't all-ages (and it's not billed as such) and will likely appeal to those who like their deities plotting and scheming.

Holy F*ck #1 is in stores December 24th.

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