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Help, I Can't Hear Myself (Bad Reception #1 Review)


Writer/Artist: Juan Doe

Colorist: Juan Doe

Letterer: Juan Doe

Publisher: Aftershock Comics

Rating: 9/10

Black. Nothing but darkness as bloodshed splashes across six pages. The man being interviewed calls himself a techno-ethicist, an advocate for a better digital environment where he believes we need better morale. People are unknowingly separating their online and analog selves, overusing social media, and forgetting empathy, he says. Blaise Bordeaux-Davis, yeah (heh), that’s his name. And despite that undercurrent, he’s making my hair stand on end as he hasn’t yet appeared on-page. While promoting his new book, #Hashtag Off The Grid, he’s talking all these conspiracy theories we once predicted, yet only seemed forever ago - our compulsive likes; nomophobia - our fears without our phones; and advertisement manipulation from the higher-ups to change our behaviors. Wtf! It’s only been a couple of days since I’ve seen The Great Hack so I’m scared out my wits. The fourth splash ends with a blood-stained woman holding her… well, you guessed it.

The following pages explore the dark humorous characters in this world but the art barely made it funny. Black gutters hug around my comic of contrasting reds and oranges, unapologetically dark and saturated. Juan Doe’s thin lines balance solid colors of noir in sophistication, and character faces appear realistic despite the minimal lines in his drawings. The panels are so small that their world seems out of reach. Double-paged splashes divide into three horizontal rows, and Doe uses these panels to exhibit time effectively. The sinister, bottom purple and red row contradict the soft analogous panels above - don’t forget, there’s a killer on the loose! Ironically enough, the book #Hashtag was motivated when Blaise decided to have an off-the-grid wedding with his fiancé, a highly famous singer and actress. The personalities of the people in both of their lives are… well, I’ll let you find out. Overall, this book gave me the creeps and some discreet chuckles. Highly recommended!


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