Review – Father’s Day #1 – Dark Horse Comics
With reviews on Letters To Walter Kovacs I am going to go a slightly different way about how I choose what to review. Every person I interview I ask for his or her 3 favourite comics that have come out this year. I will then read and review one of these comics. By doing it this way I hope to find out about the newest and most exciting comics.
The first three recommendations come from David Bath one of the co-founders of Cardiff Comics who I wrote an article about a few weeks ago. The three comics he recommends are:
Father’s Day by Michael Richardson / Gabriel Guzman (Dark Horse)
War Stories by Garth Ennis / Keith Burns (Avatar)
The Royals Masters of War by Rob Williams / Simon Coleby (Vertigo)
Of these three I have decided to review Father’s Day as Dave called it his favorite comic of this year.
Father’s Day is a classic crime comic written by the founder of Dark Horse Mike Richardson. It’s about an abounded child finding and confronting her long lost Father but he turns out to be an old mob enforcer called the ‘East Side Butcher’ whose been in hiding to protect her. Oh and guess what by finding her Father she has just lead a bunch of low life creeps to his front door who are hell bent on killing both of them.
As you can tell by this brief summary of the plot Father’s Day is equal part ultra violence and family melodrama. Nothing particularly groundbreaking for the world of comic books but it is fun enough to hold your attention span for 20+ pages. It reads like a pulpier version of John Wagner’s ‘A History Of Violence’ with a touch more attitude. Similar elements run through both such as the theme of people’s inability to escape violent pasts, the ominous underworld figures and the small town setting. But Father’s Day does not reach anywhere near the heights of Wagner’s classic.
Gabriel Guzman’s artwork, much like the plot of Father’s Day, fits perfectly within modern mainstream comic book conventions. You could find similar artwork if you open any comic coming out from DC, Marvel or Dark Horse. This is not to say it is bad but there is nothing particularly expressionistic about it, instead Guzman’s artwork goes for a simplified realism which I for one am bored of seeing in comics. However the cover, drawn by Keron Grant is intriguing in its use of blurred colours and lines which jars with the rigidness of Guzman’s artwork. The fear on the Father’s face on the cover represents a depth of emotion not seen anywhere else in this comic.
This comic was fun enough with its fist fights and wise cracks but lacked any real direction. Regardless of its cliffhanger ending I doubt I will be hunting out the next issue of this four part series. Father’s Day embraces the idea of the comic as an action film but just wasn’t fun enough to warrant any great deal of attention. Its only redeeming quality is the cover artwork by Keron Grant. It’s a shame he couldn’t have done the whole comic.