indie comic reviews, REVIEW: Maniac of New York #1, The Indie Comix Dispatch

Book Title: Maniac of New York #1

Book Description: On New Year’s Day, 2016 someone in a hockey mask with a machete went berserk in Times Square. When it was all said and done this individual, later dubbed “Harry the Maniac” had killed 79 people, including 6 police officers. In the four years since this bloodbath occurred, there have been 39 other incidents involving “Harry”. In each attack he has left no fewer than four dead. The most frightening thing about “Harry”is his ability to disappear after each incident. He leaves no evidence beyond the victims’ bodies. There never seems to be camera footage of him leaving an area. The man is the black hole of police work. The Maniac Task Force has dwindled from a huge team and office to a lonely desk that doesn’t even rate a telephone or computer. The newest head of the task force, Gina Greene, is determined to stop “Harry”. She enlists the help of NYPD detective Zelda Pettibone. Even if it’s an army of two against “Harry” Gina wants him stopped. To her it isn’t about the job. One of “Harry”’s first victims before he became well known. To Gina this is about payback.

Book Author: Elliott Kalan

Book Format: Paperback

Publisher - Orgnization: Aftershock Comics

Publisher Logo:

Illustrator: Andrea Mutti

  • Story
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    (3.25)
  • Interior Art
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    (2.75)
  • Cover Art
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    (3)
  • Dialogue
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    (3.25)
  • Mechanics
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    (3.5)
  • Editing
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    (3)
3.1
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Summary

When I first heard about Maniac of New York I was expecting a slasher series. With over 400 victims in a four year span, Harry the Maniac has the body count for it. I did not expect so much focus on the police work side of the story. You can tell from the first time we see her “office” Gina is being set up to fail. There is no real expectation of her being able to do anything to stop Harry. 

Kalan does a terrific job with character development, especially for a first issue, with Zelda and Gina. After one book I feel like I know them well enough to have a beer with them and not be uncomfortable. Zelda reminds me of people I have seen in other lines of work. They go into the job convinced they’re going to set the world on fire. Then they have a few rounds of doing the right thing being completely irrelevant in a competition with ass kissing. They point out the favoritism and get targeted for it. Before you know it, what should have been a star employee is just trying to keep their head down because they’ve been labeled a troublemaker…. And they are pissed about it. 

The cover of Maniac of New York #1 caught my eye and held my attention long enough to make me want to find a copy for myself. Featuring someone holding a knife in Times Square, it has the subtlety of a sledgehammer. I love that about it. It’s not so filled with detail that prospective buyers are trying to figure out what is happening. Well done.

The lines on the interior artwork are not as crisp as I would like. It doesn’t stop the work from being a perfect match to the story. It’s gritty, just like Gina and Zelda. As the story moves along I suspect that is going to be the theme. Are these two ladies up to the task when the gauntlet gets thrown down?

As a geek on a budget I would say that Maniac of New York is worth the price of admission. It feels like Friday the 13th blended with Se7en. If you like slasher stories or detective stories you’re in for a treat.

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