Tap, Snap, or Nap (A Puncher’s Chance #1 Review)
A PUNCHER’S CHANCE #1
Writer: Ari Levi
Artist: Paulo Mel
Cover Colorist: Giuliano Peratelli
Self-Published by Ari Levi and Paulo Mel
"That which offers no resistance,
overcomes the hardest substances.
That which offers no resistance
can enter where there is no space." - Lao Tzu
The easiest path to follow isn’t necessarily the best. The harder path, although daunting, offers up not only the best results, but also growth and lessons learned. It’s a basic philosophy in the world of mixed martial arts. A Puncher’s Chance is not just a peek into that world, but it’s every punch, kick and submission that comes along with the life of a fighter, where his choices are either tap, snap, or nap.
A Puncher’s Chance is story of young man named Leo. The issue starts us in the final throes of third round of an important match in Leo’s career. Beat up and bruised, Leo convinces his coach to let him out of the corner one more time and the flashback hits with an even younger Leo back in his high school days. Filled with all the angst of a slice of life comic, it shows our protagonist’s personal struggle with the dread that is/was high school life. Such a struggle that leads the kid to get beat up in front of an MMA studio. The subsequent beating brings Leo to encounter Hex for the first time. This set off a chain of events that led Leo to finally take his first step on to the mats and on to his training. By the end of the issue, you come to realize that this book is poised for head kicks and heartbreaks.
The way this story progresses is all smooth transitions in it’s choices in art direction, writing, and dialogue. Paulo Mel’s line work and choice of angles are gripping and descriptive. There isn’t a single panel wasted and it’s action sequences can easily be comparable to martial arts Manga. Ari Levi’s story sequencing is textbook in it’s flow and the dialogue in it is natural.
This book brings to the mat a refreshing break from the comic worlds that often depict protagonists against insurmountable odds and instead brings a relatable story of kid who’s just trying to figure it all out. A story that we all can relate to, in it lies the metaphor that with a little bit of discipline, dedication and focus we all have a Puncher’s Chance.
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