Action Figure #1- This is the first issue of Richard Marcej's semi-autobio comic about his timeÂ working for a toy company. I don't read a whole lot of autobio comics, but this seems like a pretty novel premise to me. I'm not sure I can sayÂ much more about this thanÂ the prolific Mr. Burgas didn't say in his review column last week, but I'll give it a shot anyway. I liked the use of red in the fantasy sequences. Marcej is a good, solid story teller. I don't think he'd be out of place doing a Harvey Pekar story. He knows how toÂ use exagerration without overdoing it, which is important in a story that's taking place in an office. Marcej says that the series is "part humor (but not overly funny)", which is pretty accurate. It isn't uproariously funny, but there is some humor to be found here. It's not the Office or Office Space or anything, but that's not the tone Marcej is going for (although I do think a cameo from Dwight or Bill Lumberg would make this book better. Of course,Â that would make a lot of books better. That could have totally saved Infinite Crisis).
The thing that impressed me most about this comic, though, was the production value, especially for a publisher I'd never heard of before Marcej sent me some promotional material for this book some months back. It's comparable to single issues of Love and Rockets in that regard (at least the recent ones I've picked up), with a nice cardstock cover and quality paper, which is pretty impressive, especially since, from what I can tell from their website and my copy of issue #1, Marcej is basically self publishing.
It's $3.50, but between the quality of the package and the fact that that isn't much of a disparity from your average mainstream comic anymore, I certainly can't hold that against it. You're getting a good chunk of story, solidly written and drawn,Â that isn't printed on toilet paperÂ for only .50 more thanÂ an issue of BatmanÂ runs for these daysÂ (my ignorance of indie comics is showing, isn't it?). Don't let the price scare you away, is what I'm saying.
If you're a fan of of autobio/slice of life comics and looking for something with a different premise, youÂ might want to give thisÂ a look. You can find out more about it at theÂ Baboon BooksÂ website.Â And for yet another review, if mine and Greg'sÂ aren't enough toÂ satisfy you, you can check out Jog's. And you should. Because it's better than mine and Greg's. Combined. It has the added bonus of not being as exhaustive as a lot of his stuff can be. Give it a look.