Review - High Heaven #1 (@AhoyComicMags)

"--and I let myself believe that there is more to this and that one day the grand, mysterious point of living--will be handed to me."

There are people in life who are happy-go-lucky, just like there are people in life who feel they're just never lucky. How those people respond to what life throws at them is very telling and in High Heaven #1 from Ahoy Comics, David's response is less than optimal. "High Heaven" is written by Tom Peyer, illustrated by Greg Scott, colored by Andy Troy and lettered by Rob Steen. "Too Much Coffee Man" is written/illustrated by Shannon Wheeler. "Hashtag: Danger" is written by Peyer and illustrated by Chris Giarusso. "Festive Funtimes at the New World's Fair" is written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Rick Geary.

Chronic malcontent David Weathers dies and goes to Heaven-where everything is terrible, and everybody hates a complainer.

"High Heaven" as a story gives Peyer the chance to present Heaven as a staggering bureaucracy that has an ability to undercut the perceived paradise aspect of it. What really makes it work though is Peyer's use of David Weathers as the voice for the narrative, channeling the negativity of Heaven through David's own negative view about life. Sure, he doesn't seem to have the best luck while living, but Peyer reminds the reader that you really get out of a scenario what you put into it and because David seems to have a persistent pessimism the world around him becomes equally as jaded. "Hashtag: Danger" is a pretty quick and dirty look at aspiring adventurers with Peyer focusing on the logistical aspects of marketing and brand management (as opposed to actually adventuring). "Too Much Coffee Man" and "Festive Funtimes at the New World's Fair" are more short stories, with the former giving Wheeler a chance to introduce some folks and the latter giving Morrison a chance to be, well, Morrison.

Scott's linework in "High Heaven" is heavy and weighted; even the panels are lined in thick, black lines. It's a very effective style because it provides a metaphoric weight to the proceedings, with Scott reminding the reader that David's dour attitude figuratively drags everyone and everything around him down. Giaruso takes a different approach in "Hashtag: Danger," instead choosing to illustrate with a more cartoonish style that emphasizes the seemingly apparent inanity of quibbling over a logo design when squaring off against an alien dinosaur. The layout feels a lot more like a newspaper strip cartoon and works really well for the context of the tale. The colors are equally as bright and pop very well, providing a sense of vibrancy to the story.

High Heaven #1 is actually a really enjoyable issue that offers satire with clubbing the reader over the head with it. David Weathers is a complainer and eventually that complaining grates so much on people that even those in Heaven seem to get depressed. Peyer's scripts for both stories are slick without being self-indulgent, presenting very sharp looks at established concepts. Scott's artwork in "High Heaven" is sufficiently mature while Giarusso's artwork in "Hashtag: Danger" is lighthearted and cartoonish. High Heaven #1 is a very biting take on the concept of eternal happiness, positing that even that can be tainted by someone with a sense of woe is me.

High Heaven #1 is available September 26.