Ed Brisson uses his labyrinthine knowledge of trashy grindhouse cinema to craft a tight and engaging mystery. “The Field” oozes tribute and originality, thanks to razor sharp cheesy dialogue, beautifully weird characters, and the stunning dynamic work of Brisson’s longtime collaborator Simon Roy. This is a comic you can’t afford to miss.
For me, there are very few comics that seem self-aware. There is certain reflexivity in the story of “The Field” that allows it to revel in its quirky genre tropes like hyper violence, and cheesy dialogue. Yet, by the last page of the book the whole adventure still feels compelling and completely original.
The story follows a mysterious protagonist who wakes up in a field wearing nothing but his underwear. He’s got a cellphone, and it warns him of imminent danger. From here he’s thrown into an adventure with an insane, drug addled bible salesmen who calls himself Christian. If that wasn’t enough there’s also a biker gang hot on the trail of the mystery hero. Who he is and what all these people want from him is only the beginning of the story.
If that premise doesn’t excite you, then I sincerely don’t know what will. Brisson maximizes his script by constantly layering new questions into the narrative. The cellphone springs to life to remind the reader that they’re in constant danger. It’s a great device that never overwhelms but keeps the script on edge. This is coupled with a brief tease of the larger narrative. Both come together to keep things weird and compelling.
Simon Roy and Brisson have been working together for years and it shows on “The Field.” They seamlessly play off of one another. Roy’s art is moody and compelling. His character designs are humorous, only to become immediately terrifying. His panels ooze his trademark style, and his use of line detailing adds menace to the mundane world of diners and sedans. Within moments of gore, Roy really shines. There is a sequence near the end of this issue that gave me Steve Dillion “Preacher” vibes. Extreme gore never looked so good, or so much fun.
This is an excellent start to a compelling and eerie book that is sure to only get better. The mystery of the book is fascinating, and there is a literal volley of questions within the opening pages that will necessitate picking up issue two. Throw in Roy’s incredibly dark and character driven work, and add in Brisson’s tastefully cheesy dialogue and you’ve got one hell of a series. “The Field” defies comparison; it’s a love letter to grindhouse cinema, and a reinvention of the genre in comics. It‘s steep mystery may leave some out in the cold, but the best stories ask questions of the reader, pushing them to become an active participant in the adventure. “The Field” does exactly that; it sucks you in, and creates an insatiable urge to know more. Bring on issue two. Let’s get weird.
Rating: 4.5/5 Skulls.