Review - I Can Sell You a Body #1 (@IDWPublishing)

"That's clairvoyance. I don't do that."

The ability to commune with the dead has long been one that's either been praised or feared. In I Can Sell You a Body #1 from IDW Publishing, it's nothing more than a gimmick (or so it would seem). The issue is written by Ryan Ferrier, illustrated by George Kambadais and lettered by Ferrier.

Are you dead? Denny Little can help. This disgraced TV psychic can put your soul in a living body... for a price. A bad day at the office, however, has just put a bounty on his head courtesy of a murdered mafioso, leaving Denny 48 hours to save his own life.

Ferrier's concept in I Can Sell You a Body #1 is actually quite genius in that it subverts the normal, "someone owns someone else lots of money" trope into something different. Denny Little is someone with a gift for speaking with the dead and he's parlayed that gift into previous success that has since turned into the potential to kill him. Ferrier's script is very slick in how it presents the premise and the plot as it offers glimpses of Denny's situation without bludgeoning the reader with facts. There is a pretty fun one-sheet highlighting Denny's abilities that serves to both reinforce the concept of the book to the reader and further bolster Denny's personality as something of a con-man. The reveal at the end of the issue further muddies the waters a bit as Denny might have made things worse in trying to make them better.

Kambadais brightens things up quite a bit with the illustrative approach reminiscent of the old Archie comics. Characters are drawn with sharp angles that give them prominence against relatively sparse backdrops. Kambadais' panel layouts are largely clean and organized, relying on formal grids for most of the pages that provide structure to the visual side of things. The exception here is one particular page where Kambadais presents Denny's panels more and more askew to echo his worsening situation. The colors are extremely rich and vibrant which works well to both emphasize the presence of the spirits and buoy the book's overall atmosphere.

I Can Sell You a Body #1 is a very appropriate title for a book about a grifter with a unique gift. Denny has continually gotten in way over his head and that trends shows no signs of abating as the series progresses which should make for a fun read. Ferrier's script is well-put together and brings with it a fast-talking lead character. The illustrations by Kambadais are energetic in a way that keeps a book about a mob boss seeking to be reincarnated in a new body feel relatively light. I Can Sell You a Body #1 has a perfect amount of cockiness to it that will make the remainder of the series pretty enjoyable.

I Can Sell You a Body #1 is available January 1.