A Charlie Gillespie cover graces issue #1 of New York City gallows – a 32 page comic from (writer) Ben Cook and (artist) Rob Ahmad. The set-up ticks a few familiar Noo Yoik cop scenarios…
Angry police captain? Yep
Crazy killer striking at ease across the city for quite a while? Yep
Violent deaths? Yep
One of the cops has secretly been working it all out without telling their partner? Yep (seriously when do folk ever get the time to do that? Who knows? Maybe they just spend all their days off solving crime on their own)
Anyway, that’s not to say that using all those tropes is necessarily a bad thing it’s just it’s going to have to maybe work a little harder to make me want to keep reading (and / or have an intriguing villain at its heart). Safe to say that I’ve now read issue 1 and I do want to keep reading. The action crackles along at a good pace, I’m suitably intrigued by the villain and, damn, but Robert Ahmed can draw (ladies). I’ve seen Ahmad’s art before, when he teamed up with Matt Garvey to draw ‘The devil in disguise’, and I loved that series and would recommend checking that out as well. That series had a limited colour palette (orange, white & black) whereas here we get full colour. So, you know, a full colour 32 page comic for £3 here is pretty incredible value.
Back to the colouring for a moment actually, it’spretty bright at times and, if I’m honest, is a little variable in quality. The stuff set at night (with a more muted palette) works better for me than some of the day time scenes. These need more subtle colour changes and a look that has a little more finesse – that green jumper of Van’s looks a little rushed and the smoke effects are, kind of, blurry rather than smokey.
Anything else? Well I’d like to know something, anything about the creators involved – there’s just a few Twitter handles, a ‘thanks to’ sentence and, er, that’s it – I don’t even know who / what the publisher is. I think that if you want to lure me into this universe, to get me to come back and buy issue 2 then I want to know more about you – about why you’re cool people who write & draw (other) stories that I’d love to know about. I don’t really get that from a short list of Twitter handles. It’s a rare mis-step in what is otherwise a very professionally produced comic. Roll on issue 2!
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