Sweets: A New Orleans crime Story
Dialogue and Art by Kody Chamberlain
Sweets is as the subtitle suggests a crime story and we have cops, the main character is being a problem for his boss and his boss is a hard ass, we’ve been here many times before but the reason these clichés exist is because they mesh well and create conflict. But the usual elements are handled perfectly to create a story that is intriguing and beautiful, anybody that dismisses it as another crime comic is being very short sighted.
Sweets is a great engrossing story that you’ll enjoy sitting down to read and chances are not stopping till you finish it. The pace is perfect and the introduction of the characters is brisk but it never seems rushed, they all have their part to play. The title comes from the nickname given to the killer with a sweet tooth. Whom is building up a body count as the clock counts down to the arrival of hurricane Katrina. The warning and reports of which build towards the finale and add an another element to the mix.
The dialogue is well written but is overshadowed by the artwork which is stunning, it’s rough, loose and scratchy at times, and the use of shadow for contrast suit’s the story perfectly, the style flips to a simple cartoonish clean style for a flashback story that breaks up the action of the main plot and feeds into it in some very nice transitions back to the present. The textures overlaid on the pages make it all look grim and gritty, the halftone textures work great as shading, and the use of typography on some scenes, big bold words is a great addition that isn’t used enough in comics it’s a visual medium and Chamberlain isn’t afraid to play with it. During the first issue there are a couple of moments that impress a lot and they are bookends to the first murder, a couple of trio’s of small little panels that cut away to elements of the scene ( such as statues/text/blood ) in close up, little visual montages worthy of Eisenstein. The scenes in greyscale with bright red for blood are strong as are the hand drawn sound effects, and ink splatter across the pages.
A book you should check out it’s a story inside two covers, and it’s a true independent comic ( funded ) through kickstarter. The story is engaging the art is stunning, crafted by an artist with a lot of love for his job and a great deal of talent with a pencil/ink and a knowledge of photoshop, without ever going to far into the overly processed, the best compliment that can be given to this is it show’s and doesn’t tell, and it builds to an ending twist that wasn’t signposted.