Written by: Mark L. Miller
Pencils and Inks by: Carlos Granda
Colors by: El Comic En Linea Foundation
Lettered by: Jim Campbell
Production Artist: Vincent Kukua
Produced by: Matt Pizzolo
Published by: Black Mask Studios
Reviewed by: Kristian Horn
In comic shops October 8th!
There’s a moment that every comic fan has experienced…it’s that moment when you open up a comic book and see the art and you go, “Oh, Wow.” And it’s not just an “Oh, wow” that you’ve had several times before because, let’s face it, there’s a lot of nice comic art out there. It’s the “Oh, Wow” that you get when you first saw a George Perez art page, or a Phil Winslade comic spread, or a Slavador Larocca, Or a Frank Cho, or Bryan Hitch comic. It’s that feeling that, whoa, this guy’s playing on a whole different level than I’m used to seeing the game played…and you know, you know that from the moment you opened up that particular comic that you are going to be a fan of that artist’s work for life.
If my opening paragraph didn’t make it obvious…I’m a big fan of the artist of this book. To be honest, I really feel that this is some of the best art I’ve seen in an indie comic book in a long time. The amount of detail on each page is just fantastically impressive. There is a real smoothness and refinement to the figure drawing in this comic. The art was so impressive that I couldn’t help but just linger on each panel of every page. Take my word for it, this guy is going to be a comics superstar. Not only is there a ridiculous amount of detail on every page, not only do the characters bend and move with flow and flexibility, but Garnda is also able to perfectly match the tone that the story requires. This is a bit of a freakshow/horror story after all and the artist of the book makes all the right choices when capturing the particular accents needed for the piece. As far as I’m concerned the visual aspect of Pirouette is absolute perfection. It’s this type of art that makes other illustrators envious of another’s talent and makes them strive to do better with their own artistic endeavors. A big BRA-fing-VO goes to Carlos Granda for his work on this book.
As outstanding as the art is, the writing of the book is just as strong. Miller presents an off kilter coming of age tale that is dashed with shades of Tom Browning’s classic horror film Freaks. What at first seems like as it could come off as a rip-off of the DC Comics character Harley Quinn ends up presenting itself as something very different and unique. Miller lets you know from the opening pages that he’s not playing in the somewhat safe pages of DC’s superhero world. The opening scene alone is one that will make horror fans very happy and demands the reader’s attention from the get-go. While the rest of the story doesn’t present as much shock value as its opening pages, Miller wisely uses the rest of the book to establish his world and move his characters through their opening act paces. This first issue of Pirouette is more dedicated to getting to know the central character and her dilemma instead of delving into the baser aspects of horror right off the bat. Miller, along with his artist Granda, do a fantastic job of establishing the mood of the book and telegraphing the ominous tides that are set to come in upcoming chapters.
With this title and what I’ve seen of their other two initial releases, Critical Hit and Last Born, Black Mask Studios really seems to have planted their flag in the comic book world terra firma. They really seem to be a publisher that knows their audience and is ready to establish itself as one of the stronger contenders out there. I just hope that they’re able to stick around in an over saturated marketplace that seems ready to devour all newcomers. If Pirouette is any indication of the type of book that they intend to publish then it looks like they should have more than a decent chance of sticking around.