Monday, April 8, 2013 it me you're looking for?

So, I've noticed that it really has been a few months since I've done any work on here. Odd considering I do still review and interview, but just got lazy about adding it on here. Let's remedy that, okay? Polarity is a new mini-series by BOOM! and while I wasn't blown away by it, it's something to look for in the future. Full review after the image.

Polarity #1
Written by Max Bemis
Art by Jorge Coelho and Felipe Sobreiro
Lettering by Steve Wands
Published by BOOM!
Review by Lan Pitts
Robot Rating: 7 out of 10
There's a line from the film "Amadeus" in which Emperor Joseph when asked about what he thought about Mozart's opera, it was suggested to Mozart that it had "too many notes". While BOOM's latest mini-series Polarity isn't exactly Classical opera, it is an original take on a young artist finding himself as both a person, an artist, and someone who can headbutt a man's head, crushing it into oblivion. However, it suffers from the same problem: just too many notes.
Written by Say Anything's front man  Max Bemis, Polarity explores the world of the elitist, hipster New York art scene for most of the issue. It lays it out pretty well for anybody who is unfamiliar with that universe, even if there are some liberties with exaggerations, but not bad for a first foray into comics. Just when you think there's no action and you feel like you're watching "High Fidelity" for the nth time, the action kicks in and catches you off guard.
The big problem  is the fact that the main character, Tim's, inner dialog just clutters up the pages. Letterer Steve Wands does a great job at controlling the flow, but a lot of it just seems like unnecessary detail. We get the idea that he's with a girl that he doesn't want to be with, and has a thing for another girl right off the bat. The repetition of the detail stalls the pacing a bit. Bemis' banter can be witty at times, but much like the art scene described here, comes across as trying too hard.
Now the reason to really try this book out is artist Jorge Coelho. With layouts that just seem out of this world, Coelho takes Tim's bipolarity and runs with it. His figure compositions are sort of a mix of Tradd Moore and Rob Guillory. Characters have cartoonish anatomy, but still maintain a sense of reality. Every panel is bursting with detail, but not in the way a lot of mainstream artists handle things. Since the story takes place in Brooklyn, everything seems more active and captivating. The bar scene with Tim and Lily especially stands out as a scene where nothing is wasted. Add in some great coloring by Felipe Sobreiro, and you've got a great looking book in your hands.
Polarity's shortcomings don't outweigh the positive here, and it's something to keep your eye on in the coming months.  How Bemis handles Tim's dialog even before he became manic and off his meds makes for a less than stellar debut, but Polarity is visually appealing nonetheless.


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