Comic Review: Eleanor And the Egret #1

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Being a big Chew fan, when I saw that John Layman had another comic out with a very silly concept, I went to check it out. With Sam Keith, I thought I could expect some quirky art and quirky story like I saw in Chew.

This issue sets up one of those “what’s going on” mysteries that a lot of modern, more hipster style comics do. It starts with a scene of this gal who I presume is Eleanor falling in a swamp. And then it cuts to a museum where she’s looking at art. It switches perspective to detectives when the art is missing, and then the detective interviews her asking after a bird feather that was left in the museum.

If it sounds perplexing and honestly a bit boring — it was. There wasn’t much of a hook. Nothing to really get me going “I love this character”, the high concept of having some Egret that helps her fly (which wasn’t done on screen, speculating) is silly I guess but again, since it wasn’t on screen I didn’t see it.

I mentioned this style before, and frankly, I hate it. It’s one of those “Oh, reader, are you as clever as I am and can you figure out the real twist of what’s going on?” And unfortunately every time this is implemented it comes across as being talked down to, which is especially irking in funnybook form.  With muted colors and Sam Keith’s–albeit nice looking–noir style art, it really sends that message more than it should. For such a ridiculous concept of some girl with her egret, it really needed some more vibrancy to the both the line art and the color schemes.

Very little happened in the issue, unlike Chew where you have FDA raids on illegal chicken restaurants and get a guy having to cannibalize to use his powers, stuff that makes you pay attention immediately — this had very little hook otehr than “well I hope the Egret does something cool in future issues.”

I really wanted to like this. I love Chew, and having met John Layman a few times I think he’s a great guy with a fun sense of humor, but unfortunately I’m going to have to pass on the rest of this series.

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