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Monday, May 19, 2008

2 Guns -- Steven Grant's crime comics are always well-constructed and entertaining, so I ordered the collected 2 Guns through my comic shop after learning Diamond didn't have all the single issues in stock.

The plot involves two criminals who are each not quite what the other thinks, and there's plenty of double-dealing, reversals of fortune and, toward the end, moments of revelation that were solidly planted in earlier chapters.

The art by Mateus Santalouco is somewhat problematical -- there's a good design sense throughout and the colouring has that Hawaiian Dick feel to it; but Santalouco's actual individual panels tend toward the undercooked much like the work Ryan Ottley does for Image's Invincible, including a lack of backgrounds and an unfortunate tendency toward xeroxed panels. Grant's story is solid enough that you're drawn through to the end despite these flaws, and also a couple of disastrously mis-applied word balloons -- you'll definitely know those when you see them.

I've never seen the original comics, so I can't say for sure, but it seems like this Manga-sized collection is smaller all around than the comics probably were, with no adjustment made for the lettering, so it's a little hard on the eyes, and some panels feature an awful lot of dialogue. If you're going to go smaller than the originals were printed at, it's definitely worth redoing the lettering so that it's not quite so hard to read.

2 Guns was my first plunge into buying Boom Studios product, and I did so solely based on the strength of Steven Grant as a writer. His work here is fine, but the art, reproduction and lettering all needed a little work to make a more perfect product. If you like crime comics, like me, you'll probably forgive these weaknesses, but they don't make me anxious to spend more money on future Boom Studios releases without seeing what I'm getting myself into ahead of time.



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