Now this was something I’ve been really excited for! Effigy is a brand new Vertigo series and it’s written by none other than Tim Seeley, the man behind some of my favorite series from 2014. I’m really pumped to read this and see what he has up his sleeve here for this book. Let’s check it out! Is it good?
Effigy #1 (Vertigo Comics)
Several years ago, a young woman by the name of Chondra Jackson was on a children’s TV show (sort of Power Rangers, Kamen Rider, that kind of thing) called Star Cops. She was on the show for seven years and unfortunately got type casted into the role, to the point where she actually made a sex tape to try to rid herself on the child actor image. However, nowadays in 2015, she’s returned to her home in Ohio and has become a cop. Mostly doing speeding tickets and small stuff like that, but that may all change very soon when she called out to Serpent Mound.
I believe I probably would have watched this show as a kid if it was real.
So, how was it? Well, it was… quirky. It was certainly quirky and different than what I was expecting. It wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it feels like it needs a bit of work. For an introductory issue, it does a decent job at setting things up. It establishes the main character fairly well, giving you an idea of who they are and giving them some likeability, sets up some possibly interesting mysteries to explore as time goes on, and I thought the opening scene that showing Chondra in her days on Star Cops was great. It showed a great difference of where was then and where she is now.
The problems start to show in the comic’s storytelling abilities. There are a couple of odd and strange scenes in the book that don’t really make much sense or fit in well; at least at this current moment. For instance, there’s a random page where Chondra is talking to the audience directly about her past and filling in some details. It seems almost out of place in the book, since there aren’t any other moments like that. There’s also the ending scene that doesn’t seem to add a single thing to the story either, just kind of appearing out of nowhere. It doesn’t even lead to a great or surprising cliffhanger; it just feels so… out there.
The rest of the writing fared better though. The character writing was solid enough in establishing Chondra and her mother, while giving enough characterization to a few others that would allow us to become interested in them (though the rest of the cops need a bit more work). The dialogue is strong and feels really good, capturing the goofy nature of a children’s cartoon as well as just normal people talking to one another. The pacing is decent enough and something is always going on with either setting things up or developing the characters. The tone is a bit hard to grasp though from just reading the book, though. It’s definitely going to be a mystery, but it doesn’t feel all that mysterious or surreal like some of the images would suggest. It is just hard to know how to feel about or what to feel this early on given what we got here so far.
The artwork is nice though, delivered to us by Marley Zarcone. His style has sort of a Jeremy Haun look and feel to it with the way he draws characters and in some of the inking. Marley’s work here is quite good, able to deliver good looking characters who show a great range of emotion and expression (look at the scene where Chondra is talking to the audience). The design and look he created with Star Cops are nice and he’s quite capable of making some eerie and weird imagery here. The colors by Ryan Hill certainly help out a lot, especially in the Star Cops scene in the beginning. While there are a lot of blank and empty backgrounds going on here, the artwork still looks quite solid and does its job capably.
The creeper alarm is currently going nuts with this guy around.
Is It Good?
Effigy #1 is a good enough start to this new series, featuring some solid setup and building up a potentially intriguing mystery to follow from here on out. The writing isn’t bad and the artwork is easy on the eyes here. There are some problems that do hurt the book, like some strange storytelling parts, but overall, the comic was enjoyable. I look forward to seeing where the series goes from here.