DYING IS EASY #1
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Martin Simmonds
Colorist: Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Having recently read LOCKE & KEY, I know I can't believe it took me this long either, I've been itching to read more Joe Hill. So when I saw that he was coming out with a new book, I knew I had to check it out. While he's known most for horror (see his Hill House Presents line over at DC's Black Label) I was pleasantly surprised that this would be a crime book. Crime/Noir is probably my favorite genre and I'm happy to say that Joe Hill has a great handle on it. Paired with artist Martin Simmonds and you have one hell of a great book.
"Comedy is hard. Dying is easy.”
Joe Hill introduces us to Syd “Sh*t-Talk” Homes – disgraced ex-cop(homicide), bitter stand-up comic, and wanted felon. He's the perfect protagonist that you can't help but pity and at the same time love. His humor is just what you would expect from a former cop, it's dry and at times morbid. When we meet Syd we have no idea how he got to this point in his life, which only adds to the intrigue of the character. Hill does a great job of dropping us into this world and slowly building the pace of what we're gonna be in for.
The majority of the book is literally just Syd and his fellow comedians sitting around and talking about how they wanna kill Carl (who's kind of a douchebag). They all hate Carl because he steal their jokes and sleeps with producers to further his comedy career. While reading a comic where you just see guys sitting around could come across boring, the dialogue amongst these guys is what keeps the reader entertained. Them discussing how much it would cost to kill Carl and Syd saying he would do it for a basket of wings, is hilarious.
The unique art style of Simmonds and exquisite coloring of Cunniffe really sets the tone for this book. You can feel the griminess of this seedy little comedy club. It's like being on alcohol/drug infused night of regrets. It's the use of double page spreads that really showcase their artistic prowess.
As the story progressed, after a timely cigarette break, Homes runs into someone who blames him for the death of her sister. Clearly it was the case that made him quit the force or why he got fired. After egging the lady on, she eventually leaves which leads to more questions about Homes past. After which he runs into Carl out back and beats the crap out of him. At the end of the book though the girl that works at he club calls Syd and tells him that the cops are after him. Not for assault but for the murder of Carl. What this means for out titular comedian/ex-cop I have no clue. It is a heck of way to end a book though.
This book has it all, the entire creative team has put together the beginnings of a great crime mystery. If you love the works of Joe Hill or great crime stories then this is the book for you. Make sure you go grab one from your LCS.