Review - NOLA #1

Boom! Studios brings us a story in this book that is completely gripping and I only hope I can do it justice in this review. Created by Chris Gorak with art by Damian Couceiro, NOLA is a series that so far is without superheroes. There are no arch-villains. This story really struck me as one of a young woman (Nola) from New Orleans who goes from a beautiful, fun-loving person to about as low as you can get in a three week time span. I’ll be honest; I have no idea where this series is going. This first issue is all about introductions, and if you find this review appealing it hit shelves a while ago in November so copies should be available for you to pick up. The book alternates back and forth between present events that will shape the storyline going forward and flashbacks of what has led her up to this point. I’m starting to find that it is a style of storytelling that I really enjoy in comics. It allows us to really get a feel for the characters involved and their motivations while still progressing the storyline. It also allows a comic to feel like a lot happened even when the storyline progressed. For the three of you that actually follow my reviews, you may have noticed a recent one in a series where I feel like the pacing was screwed up by not incorporating this type of storytelling. That aside, Nola is in a risky relationship. As often happens in these things, someone gets burned and things end badly. In this case that statement is very apropos and I’ll leave it at that. After these events it appears that Nola wants to head home, only home is a flooded part of the city closed to traffic. A struggle with law enforcement puts Nola into a situation that, in her words “There ain’t no comin’ back from.” That is it. End of issue #1. It may seem simple but some of the events that transpire here give you a look at the darkest things that some people are capable of, as well as what can happen when people let themselves get a little lost in their past. Why was Nola trying to get back into New Orleans? The synopsis at the end sheds some light on the subject from the managing editor. You can imagine the grittiness feel to the comic with a guy like Gorak, who worked on projects like Fight Club and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as an Art Director. All I know is that Nola is looking for someone, and based on the events in this issue, they had better watch out when she finds them. If this were a movie I could see her saying, “I knew this was a one-way ticket when I signed up for the job” right about now. Pick it up if you see it and like some good character development and storytelling. I think you’ll be pleased.