Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG-13
Writer: Kevin Joeeph
Illustrator: Ludovic Salle
Letters: DC Hopkins
Cover: Ludovic Salle
Editor: Cassandra Ball
Publisher: Scout Comics
As I’ve continued on my curiosity voyage through indie comics I came across “Tart” #1 in an online auction. I figured a new title at a reasonable price is worth looking into.
“Tart” begins with our hero, a woman that is the title character, waking up in an alley in New York sometime during the 1950’s. After a couple minutes of disorientation she gets her bearings. Tart sees a newspaper article about a little boy that is missing and realizes why she is in this place.
Tart does some investigating and comes to the conclusion that a demon took this child. Following the demon’s trail she realizes that it disappeared without a trace. The only way that can happen is with a “Trenchie”.
Trenchies are creatures that are capable of teleporting individuals from one dimensional plane to another. They are nicknamed Trenchies because of the trench coats they wear. Our hero makes a deal with one of these creatures to arrange passage to and from Goodlestag, the demon forest.
Once in Goodlestag, Tart is able to locate the missing child rather promptly. Tart manages to persuade the demon that kidnapped the child to allow him to return to his home plane with minimal violence.
“Tart” #1 wraps up with our hero being whisked away for another mission while celebrating a job well done.
I really enjoyed the artwork. It reminds me a lot of the works of Alphonse Mucha. My father used to love Mucha’s work and seeing something that resembled it so well in a comic book was a sentimental moment for me. I really liked Mr. Salle’s work on the cover.
I tend to give the first issue of a run more room to work with. The creative team has to give you a setting, characters, and a story. On top of that they only get about 24 pages to work their magic.
“Tart” has a good concept that makes me curious to see where the story will take us. The “Trenchies” were interesting. I appreciate the idea of making a species that gives others the opportunity to jump from plane to plane.
The majority of “Tart” #1 is done as a narrative given to the ready by our heroine. The dialogue we do have is quite effective for helping to move the story along. It doesn’t give us much more information than what we already have though. I’m hoping that in future issues that will be touched on a bit more.
The lettering in this book is well done. I liked the inverted colors used for the “Trenchies” and the different font for the demon. Little things like that are very helpful to differentiate which character is speaking as well as giving a sense of foreboding.
While I liked the story, “Tart” was difficult to fall into. Even after a second reading I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters. I like to think that we’ll learn more about Tart in the coming issues.
“Tart” reminds me of Quantum Leap with a splash of Lara Croft and a pinch of Pan’s Labyrinth. With some more time to develop characters and move further with the plot of the story I think Mr. Joseph may be on to something great!