Joe Harris, Brett Weldele,
Douglas E. Sherwood,
Keith Wood, Jill Beaton
Spontaneous is a mystery comic about a teenager with a shitty job who seems to have been in close proximity to many instances of spontaneous combustion. It’s like a teen summer movie mixed with an episode of the x-files (though I’m sure mulder won’t show up or it’d be just the one issue, mystery solved). It has that sort of “weird kid with a secret” meets “cute rambunctious girl” plot going for it at the same time, and because of this it never gets too dark. The reader is kept in a nice space of wondering about the romance that is of course going to come out of these two meeting each other, and in finding out the secrets of our male protagonist through said romance with female protagonist.
Anf this is where the art sort of fails the story. It tries to do the whole ben templesmith color palette thing and the visual aesthetic is thusly much darker than the story needs or requires of it. It’s hard to get that light feeling from the story when everything’s colored dingy piss yellows and browns. Reading through the comic a second time I can’t help but imagine what this thing would look like if it were actually colored, rather than whatever photoshop technique this is that’s become so popular in horror/mystery genre comics. It feels like a cop-out, with proper coloring, there’s some consideration in how the scene is lit, and how the colors create a mood, but here everything looks the same. The mood is absent, or if there is a mood it’s in conflict with the contents of the comic itself.
I know they’re not going to change the entire look of the comic next month when issue two comes out, but I’ll probably read it anyway. The last page has me interested in what’ll happen next and the main character is interesting (if stupid, how did you not think sharing things with an overzealous news reporter wouldn’t turn into her next story?). Weldele, though I am not satisfied with his coloring choice, is competent in drawing the story and keeping it readable, and Harris has a nice air of mystery going.