Comic Review: Night Moves # 1

Night Moves is a new noir horror comic from IDW, written by V.J and Justin Boyd, illustrated by Clay McCormack. The writers use a flashback structure to tell a story about the present day, thus creating both intrigues in the past events of the main character, as well as in his present (our future).

Story:

This comic begins 40 years after the story does. A young boy, tweenish, by his look, pulls to a stop on a hoverboard and enters a house. He’s just about to open a door marked with some arcane symbols and someone grabs his hand. An old man lives in the house. The boy asks for a story and the man begins to tell one. It’s the story of how he lost his one, true love.

Readers go back in time to our current day and age in the teller’s memory… On a night, when he hits on a pretty police detective, three violent priests come in with guns and start shooting. The shooting sparks a series of discoveries and events that propel the assembled cast of characters down a path rife with occult spookiness.

Read the full review on Sequential Planet.

Antar: The Black Knight, written by Nnedi Okorafor, Art by Eric Battle, Colors by Jason Scott Jones, Letters by Thomas Mauer, Edited by Sohaib Awan, IDW Comics

Now that we’ve gotten past all the attributing artists that made even just this FIRST issue possible, let’s get to the review, shall we?

Antar, or Antarah, is a historical figure who left behind a vast collection of poetry–the only proof of his corporeal form. He was an African slave to the Arab, Prince Shedad who was also his father, by way of rape.

Nnedi Okorafor has become something of an author crush for me lately, and so when I saw this first issue in my local comic shop, I jumped at the chance to grab the last copy on the shelf. Okorafor also wrote the novella trilogy, “Binti,” which I am teaching in my American Literature class, connecting it to concepts of identity and James Baldwin. The first installment of Binti is fantastic–one of the most interesting SF pieces I’ve read in quite some time, even though it is shorter than 100 pages. As soon as I saw who had written Antar, I couldn’t NOT by it.

The first issue of Antar tells the story of how Antar came to be a camel driver for his father, how he fell in love with a young woman–also a slave–only to lose that love and be picked for his own primal fury as a warrior-slave.

The production is worth the price of admission as well. Each page takes on a color tone or sequence, that creates an atmospheric experience to live in. The pen-lines are impressionistic at times, with liberal crosshatching that serves the purpose of a frayed or tenuous reality–in which Antar lives. The colors characters wear on their person are rich, and even those that could be garish take on a darker, earth-toned shade, as though they have the sand of the desert rubbed into them.

Interestingly, on my first read through I was intrigued by the story–but not fascinated–now that I go back through, examining the production, the writing, the style, I find myself far more interested in where this piece will go. Certainly worth the $4 you’ll spend on it.