Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Read it: Memoir

Memoir is one of those books that does a good enough job of setting the hook, but only just.

I don’t know if it’s the barely likeable protagonist or the occasional jarring wonkiness in an otherwise beautifully drawn black and white comic, but issue one of Memoir features a couple hurdles to clear if you plan on tagging along for the full ride. Thankfully, the story is intriguing enough to guarantee that I, at least, will be doing exactly that.

Memoir follows a young journalist on his quest for “the big scoop” as he tries to uncover the mysteries of a town whose inhabitants have lost their memory following what was, apparently, a tragic series of events.

Ben McCool’s story starts with a wonderful scene that grabs you instantly, but then quickly introduces a lead character you might have a hard time rooting for. The guy is arrogant and seems willing to step over just about anyone if it means he’ll earn a shot at breaking his big story.

Nikki Cook’s illustrations are overflowing with great detail and most of her characters are well drawn and full of emotion, but the occasional face just comes off…wrong. Either it doesn’t fit the body correctly or the details are a bit alien. Whatever the reason, these occurrences have a knack for bringing the scene to a grinding halt as your mind tries to process what parts just aren’t adding up.

Memoir is a black and white affair and, much like The Walking Dead and Resurrection, this works very well considering the old-school spooky atmosphere of the book.

As for the story, our reporter soon learns at least one resident of this God forsaken town has managed to hold on to their memories but, before we can learn the who, what and whys, another half-crazy local unearths a nightmare his mind has been trying to keep buried in a shocking conclusion that does a great job of making you want to find out what happens next.

Memoir is off to a good start. If Cook can clean up a few artistic missteps and McCool can keep the story this interesting, we should be in for a fun ride.

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