Wild’s End is the latest from Boom! Studios. Their solicit accurately compares it to popular movies, saying “fans of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s Cornetto Trilogy will fall in love.” It has the small-town-goes-horribly-wrong ethos of that series, and the Britishness-is-so-darling-and-
WRITTEN BY: Dan Abnett
ART BY: I.N.J Culbard
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
RELEASE: September 10, 2014
Reviewed By: Katy Rex
In fact, Cornetto Trilogy fans will find this not only familiar, but nearly identical in tone and feel. The opening scene, in which two extremely British animals stumble around drunkenly, feels like it might have been an actual deleted scene from World’s End, while the town meeting could have been taken directly from Hot Fuzz. Through most of this first issue, the story felt a lot like déjà vu, and even the mysteries and unknowns felt familiar and predictable.
Although the story, from the overall arch to the individual scenes, felt very much like something I’d read/watched before, that didn’t detract from the enjoyability of the issue. This isn’t the series to pick up if you’re looking for the newest and most innovative thing that nobody has ever thought of, but it’s a fun romp. And although the end of the issue, again, is exactly what I expected (but I won’t spoil it further), it does give hope that maybe this could go in a variety of directions.
Since this is the first issue, it’s entirely possible that the creative team is playing with the reader’s expectations. Aside from the arch itself, the writing is extremely clever, with dialogue that manages to be dialectic without being overly precious, and names that feel exactly like what you’d expect (the fox is Fawkes, the town is Lower Crowchurch) in a small country town populated by animals in suits.
I.N.J.’s art is a perfect complement to both the Britishness and to the anthropomorphicness of this story, feeling not unlike a cartoon-style take on The Wind in the Willows. The colors are vibrant and clear, but just muted enough to feel a little old-fashioned, a little traditional, a little small-town and British and almost stodgy. This overall feels comfortable and nostalgic, allowing the reader to slip seamlessly into the story. The design and layout is easy to read, and lends itself well to the humor of the piece with a simple large panel layout and painstakingly stylized characters that are both easily distinguishable from one another and easy to interpret.
This isn’t a top new issue that you absolutely have to pick up or you’ll regret it, but it’s comfortable, enjoyable, and worth a read. And it certainly bears sticking with, at least for a few more issues, to see where it goes from here. Don’t forget to read the “letters” section in the back, which has been done in the style of an old fashioned small town newspaper, complete with advertisements for posture improvement and miracle pills.
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