‘This comic is an interesting one to read.’
That’s probably the nicest way to say it. That isn’t to say I disliked it, on the contrary, I enjoyed the read, short as it was, and am keen to get my hands on the following issues. The problem with the story as it is with only the first book out, is that it relies heavily on the already established concept of a gritty murder/cop story.
The art quickly draws you into a darker world of prisons and detective life than you have probably seen on TV, outside perhaps of True Detective, and very easily makes sure you stay captured until the final page. Philosophy and murder are always an excellent way to open a story, even if it is a bit of a trope these days.
John Arcudi has a vast talent for writing comic stories, and his ability to convey a message quickly and without tremendous amounts of exposition is impressive. The main character fits a very specific role very quickly, but even with such a stereotypical beginning, it wasn’t long before I realized she was more than just the regular surly detective who would rather be anywhere else, despite her protestations against even being in her position, she seems to genuinely care that the truth is revealed. Being able to build a character to a point where they becoming interesting in only 26 pages is no small task.
The art by Toni Fejzula, is probably where I feel the story is its weakest. While it easily conveys the darker nature of the story and the frustration of the characters on the page, unless you have read his work before, the style can be a bit disconcerting to look at. His expression of emotions and character interactions though, however bizarre to my inexpert eye, are excellent. The distinction between characters is easy to follow and the emphasis on every important frame is done in a way that makes everything easy to follow.
Dead Inside is an easy to read, well drawn, gritty murder/mystery story that will quickly hook you in and drag you into its depths. With a quickly developing plot and interesting characters, I look forward to reading the next chapters and learning more about the mystery that has been laid before us.
Keep an eye out for it on the Dark Horse site, from December 21st.