Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Review - Job Dun: Fat Assassin #1 (@mradamjack)

"Job Dun's the name. And I'm having a bad night."

Being an assassin is a hard job, what with the contracts and killing and what not. The life of an assassin in a dystopian city is made is even more difficult, but that won't stop Job Dun from--ahem--getting the job done in Job Dun: Fat Assassin #1. The issue is written by Mark Hobby and illustrated by Ben Michael Byrne, colored by Noelle Criminova and lettered by Bolt-01.

Story begins with Job Dun, rotund killer with a taste for chem-cola, dispensing rough justice upon a couple of bouncers after they refuse him entry into a nightclub. He swears they hit first. It is the year 2112 and the story is set in Ink-Blot City, a cesspool of crime and sex with a price tag. Like all citizens of the city, he is outfitted with a 'spray-maker', a piece of digi-tech lodged deep in his pineal gland that enables him to augment his perception to create the world he wants to see. Though essentially a thug, Dun chooses to live in a hyper-real, sexualised reality reminiscent of noir films, laced with fetish overtones - what he likes to call 'fet-noir'. 'Cos he's classy.

Hobby creates a world that's far from pleasant for Job Dun to inhabit--one that's rife with sex, drugs and violence. The use of the spray-maker is an interesting narrative device used by Hobby in that it rationalizes the PI narration used in a lot of noir books. Job Dun is anything but a PI, yet telling the story through his perception of the spray-maker is a pretty unique and clever approach. Aside from that, the plot itself feels a little jumbled as Job Dun is tasked with an assignment. A lot of the dialogue feels very stream of conscious and is a little difficult to follow at times and Hobby doesn't shy away from being crass in the exchanges between characters.

The caricature-like approach taken by Byrne infuses the book with a sense of coarseness befitting Ink-Blot City. Job Dun is illustrated as a mammoth man who surrounds himself with visions of voluptuous women and interacts with a daily fantasy. Byrne's illustrations border on absurd and help to ground the issue in a sense of fantasy. There's a lot of violence and gratuitous sexiness for sure, but it's not necessarily being done in a way that's meant to be realistic. The colors by Criminova are pretty dulled throughout and apply a grimy polish to the overall artwork.

Job Dun: Fat Assassin #1 is a very coarse book with equally coarse characters. Job Dun is content to live in another world that allows him to blissfully ignore the real world happening all around him. Hobby's script is a little muddled at points because there's an overwhelming amount of narration by the main characters. Byrne's illustrations are exaggerated in a way that makes the book feel like a psychedelic trip. Job Dun: Fat Assassin #1 trades on the shock value of its contents more than anything else.

Job Dun: Fat Assassin #1 is available now.


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