Dark Beach #1
The only time I really review comics is at home when I’m sitting in my jammies talking to my dog, Chupacabra. She’s a great listener and only falls asleep half of the time. But when I was told I could review a comic and nobody would be falling asleep, I was pretty jazzed up.
The first thing that caught my eye about Dark Beach is the color scheme. I’m a firm believer in the idea that colors can make or break a comic, easily. Sebastian Piriz’s art coupled with some great colors by Ray Jones really takes this mysterious story to the next level. It is easily one of my favorite books as far as art style and color goes, and I’m a Crayola sniffin’ color junkie.
Dark Beach is one of those books that you don’t quite understand at first, and the story pieces itself together as you go, without answering too many questions in the first issue. Written by Michael J. Ruiz-Unger, it’s centered around a scruffy and weathered man named Gordo. We meet him as he’s laying on a dark beach (hey, that’s the book name!) and gets a call to go take some crime scene photographs of a woman who has been mysteriously murdered.
The story gets deeper as we find out that the world is so dark because there is literally no more sun. People live in perpetual darkness, and some have rivaled this problem with artificial light. There are even clubs that people go to, accordingly dubbed “Sun Clubs”, in order to rival this problem. I immediately took to this concept. It’s interesting, it’s new, it’s intriguing, and I could really imagine it happening.
The concept could have so easily gone dystopian, but it wavers on the edge so that we still have our feet in a fresh new idea without going totally dystopian crazy. It submerges you into this feeling that things are grim but not completely hopeless. I am always impressed when I feel a comic book could have easily been a novel, and achieving that fine balance while not losing any of the characteristics belonging to the medium is no easy feat. You really feel the setting, you feel the darkness as Gordo walks through this world with no sun, and you feel the light when he enters the Sun Club full of artificial light. Knowing it’s artifical really twists the way the book is projected as well. We are still in that bleak world even though it’s flooded with light.
Quite honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of misses with independent series and titles off the beaten path. But Dark Beach #1 is one of those books you immediately put on your pull list and want to read more of. I strongly encourage everyone to check out the Kick Starter and get your filthy paws on this spiffy sci-fi noir.