Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Review - Carver: A Paris Story #1

"So there you go..."

Fancy yourself a person of the world and then you've probably encountered all manner of individuals. Those individuals are well-versed in the world in general and Carver in Carver: A Paris Story #1 by Z2 Comics is one such man. The series is written and illustrated by Chris Hunt.

The first story arc is about Francis Carver, an infamous Gentleman of Fortune who comes to the aid of an old friend, whose child has been kidnapped by a gang of anarchists for mysterious reasons.

Hunt relies on many familiar themes to introduce the reader to the tale's main character. The most readily apparent is the concept of an internationally-renowned man with the pedigree of James Bond or Sterling Archer--it's safe to say that Carver falls somewhere in between those two characters. The premise of the first issue revolves around Carver's visit to Paris in search of a friend, pitting him against an enemy who's the exact opposite of Carver. Hunt uses their looming encounter well to characterize the two as villains in their own right, as Carver doesn't really come across as much of a gentleman. The dialogue is pretty straightforward and the characters are very blunt in what they're seeking from one another, which furthers the narrative that the characters are pretty stereotypical.

Hunt's garnered acclaim as an artist through both his work and his studying under Paul Pope. Hunt's style in the book is very meticulous and clean, with characters evincing emotions on par with their roles. Carver himself boasts a rugged appearance that's inspired by characters such as Indiana Jones for instance, with a powerful jaw and formidable physical presence. Hunt's choice to keep the book in black and white adds a throwback vibe to it as well. The panel layout is extremely simple and follows the traditional grid format, affording the reader a very clean reading experience.

Carver: A Paris Story #1 is a relatively straightforward first issue that's setting the table for things to come. Carver has all the qualities you'd expect from such a character, throwing himself right into the thick of things with little hesitation. Hunt's script is paced pretty evenly and does a good job of presenting the major players and the universe in general. His artwork is simple yet presentable, using black and white coloring effectively to accentuate the lights and darks of Paris. Carver: A Paris Story #1 will appeal to readers looking to fill the void left by works such as Corto Maltese.

Carver: A Paris Story #1 is slated to debut in November.


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