Story by: Adam Cheal Art by: Brad Hudson Colours by: Mike Summers Letters: Mindy Lopkin Published by: Ellipsium Entertainment
Welcome to the jungle! Well, the concrete jungle of 1970’s New York, and amid the filth and squalor we find the latest offering from the indie UK publisher Ellipsium Entertainment with Slowheart. For those of you familiar with the writing of Adam Cheal, this is something of a departure, this book is like brain spew across the page, vibrant and bright, despite the seedy elements of the story. There’s drugs, there’s violence, there’s even boobs – what more could you want from a comic? Like Toxic Storm and Terminus At Fenton’s Green before it, this book is one aimed firmly at ‘Mature Readers’. The central character here is Jake Slowheart – a down on his luck, drug addled former protector of the city – but those halcyon days are gone, replaced by strippers, booze and drugs. The narrative of the book fits perfectly with the jaded world view of Jake, despite the iniquities of his existence, while he is jaded, he isn’t a maudlin character. There’s a good deal of spirit in Jake!
Issue 1 is, despite the urban decay and social grotesqueness, a fast paced and lively book. The elements of the necessary ‘origin’ aspects are effortlessly worked into the story and don’t clog the pace. The plot fizzes along nicely, as we follow Jake’s progress, amid dealers, pimps, and the re-emergence of Jake’s more noble aspects. The art of Slowheart covers quite a range, we have the neon vulgarity of the big apple, there’s substance abuse, violent, murder, brain splatter and boobs – not all in the same panel but hey, if it was that would be one very insane panel! Brad Hudson covers the splendour of New York beautifully, and he knows how to deliver a sexy lady onto the page. As a first issue, Adam doesn’t get bogged down with introducing his characters – you do get a quick grasp of them, which is sufficient enough for you to react to them as the story progresses. The plot is engaging enough and flows to a natural break point as the issue closes. With a good start to the Slowheart story it’s going to be in interesting ride from here!