Those of you who have enjoyed my site for awhile are probably familiar with friend of the blog, David Liss. I've interviewed him before about prose-writing and "Black Panther" back when he was doing that title for Marvel and I was enjoying it a bunch. A bit ago I made a post when he and publisher 215 Ink made an announcement about a new comic in the works from Liss and artist Allen Byrns, "Angelica Tomorrow". First coming out digitally and then in Trade Paperback, I wasn't sure what to expect from this comic but thought it sounded intriguing in its description of a "slice-of-life" tale meeting-up with something killer-robot-esque. I figured I would check it out when it debuted.
Well, I've now read the first issue and I can say that I did indeed quite like "Angelica Tomorrow". Liss provides us with a narrator in the form of George Williams, a high-school student who used to have it all before a car accident left him paralyzed, bitter, and often drunk thanks to booze acquired from the older brother of one of his only two friends.
|Things don't end well for the police-officer.
This results in the rest of the story, with its interestingly weird mixture of themes. It has the usual overtones of a high-school tale, featuring George just trying to suffer his way through classes, but incorporated into this is the story of a dangerous human-machine hybird that currently seems to be in a less aggressive-mode, but who knows for how long? It really does result in a sort of "Ghost World" meets "The Terminator" feeling as it had been described to me before reading it.
|Why George doesn't try to escape from Angelica is briefly addressed.
The other thing that nagged at me is how this first issue already starts to tell us some facts about Angelica, with a scene between a scientist and NSA agent arriving into town with plans to search for her/it. I actually liked there being some more mystery to just what Angelica is and where she comes from, so having the story reveal this early on that she's basically a failed experiment removes some of the mystery and makes this a standard, "Science and the Government went too far and look what it wrought!"-type of Frankenstein's monster brought about by mans and woman's hubris.
|The story could have waited longer to introduce the Government-element.
The minimalist and eerie style of the artwork goes with the story well when things are gruesome (such as when Angelica is at first a violent killing-machine), but feels a bit tonally-off during the quiet nicer scenes of bonding between Angelica and George. Then again, with the story having such different tones that somehow work together I'm not sure how exactly there could have been an art-style to suit all the potential moods. Therefore, it is at least good that Byrn's style works so well for the more alarming and scary scenes.
All-in-all I would say this is a very strong start with only a little that bothered me, such as the too-soon introduction of the scientist and NSA agent, but there was much I enjoyed such as the artwork and good chemistry between George and Angelica that shows an interesting mixture of friendship, flirtation, and fear (on George's part, at the thought that Angelica could turn violent again at any moment).
I would definitely recommend checking this out if you enjoy quirky or scary stories, or tales that merge both genres expertly. You can find yourself a copy of the debut issue of the digital-first "Angelica Tomorrow" on Comixology, right here and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
4 out of 5 stars.
Note: A digital copy of "Angelica Tomorrow" was provided to me by David Liss for review purposes.