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Comic review: Sam and Twitch No. 1

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Sam and Twitch: The Writer No. 1

Published by Image Comics. Written by Luca Blengino. Pencils by Luca Erbetta. Inks by Fabio Bono.

I'm all for experimentation in the comic book industry. I love it when writers and/or artists try to tell stories in new, unique ways. But sometimes, it pays not to innovate.

Take the first issue of the new limited series from Image Comics, Sam and Twitch: The Writer, for example. A crime comic based on characters that inhabit creator Todd McFarlane's Spawn universe, Sam and Twitch utilizes a lettering technique (one that is sometimes used in comic strips) that actually screws up the entire presentation.

Instead of sticking dialogue in standard word balloons, artist Luca Erbetta places words right on top of illustrations, basically floating next to characters' heads. Now, I'm sure this technique was utilized to help drive home the book's plot, which involves a serial killer who tags notes on walls and people at homicide scenes. Or maybe the creators wanted to distance The Writer from a run-of-the-mill comic book. However you slice it, this balloon-less lettering style is just hard to read. Furthermore, it's hard to figure out who's talking in any given panel. And if I can't read or comprehend the writing, I will (of course) not be able to enjoy the comic.

Now, I'm sure the folks behind this comic won't suddenly switch to standard lettering before the series ends (it's only four issues, and it's biweekly), so I'll just recommend that you stay away from Sam and Twitch. In fact, you'd be better served by searching the back-issue bins for the original Sam and Twitch ongoing monthly series from back in the day; it was a high-quality title -- written by a still-green Brian Michael Bendis.

Reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.

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