Indie Comic Review: Killogy #1

Why do comic creators insist on tossing superfluous elements in to their comics? Why can’t creators just tell the core story without tossing in something as extraneous as zombies which do nothing to move the plot forward and distract from what the book is really about? Killogy is the worst example of this in recent memory.

What do you get when you throw three murderers into one prison cell together? Well, when those characters happen to be based on the likenesses of celebrities Frank Vincent (Goodfellas, Raging Bull, The Sopranos), Marky Ramone (formerly of The Ramones) and Brea Grant (Heroes, Dexter), you can bet that the outcome will be anything but ordinary.

Nowhere in this solicitation is there a mention of zombies. Nowhere in this solicitation is there any indication that the story could be made better with the inclusion of zombies. Yet Writer/Artist/Letterer Alan Robert decides to toss them in anyway.

Storytelling is a lot like baking. Just because you have the ability to toss pickles in to your chocolate chip cookies does not mean that it is a good idea. Zombies, like pickles, overpower and distract from the piece at hand. Robert seems to believe that because he has all the control in creating this comic means that he should use every ingredient in his storytelling cupboard. It’s a bad idea. What could have been a good story about three killers in a cell telling stories turns in to an unpalatable mess of a comic.

Robert has also decided to closely tie his characters’ likenesses to those of three “celebrities”. Again, if this was a plot point, it would be interesting. But, like the zombies, it is just there to add something else to a story which is not needed. The characters don’t even have the same names as their likenesses, so there is not even that tidbit for a connection. I can only assume that Robert used their likenesses out of the need for some faces for his characters and then, to avoid the accusation of too much photo referencing, turned that weakness into a selling point. Unfortunately, it isn’t much of a selling point at all.

Dialogue in comics is difficult. More often than art, dialogue takes the reader out of a story because it is clunky, misused, or otherwise inappropriate. Robert is guilty of all three. His character, Sally Sno-Cones (based on the likeness of Robert Vincent), comes off as a parody of a Sopranos character with more “Fuggedaboutit”‘s and “Goombah”‘s thrown in than were ever uttered in any gangster flick. It is impossible to take him seriously and that is the worst thing that can happen in any story.

Speaking of not taking things seriously, the set-up of the story is impossible to believe as well. Sure, it is conceivable that three killers would share a holding cell together. However, it is far less likely that the holding cell would be co-ed. It is even less likely that the people in the holding cell would still be covered with the blood of their victims two days later. There is too much here for a reader to reasonably be expected to accept. It is impossible to get into this story when the characters and setup are working so hard against the reader.

By the time the disembodied head pops out of the tub of ice-cream I was sure my comic had been replaced by a terrible straight-to-video movie. I found myself laughing at the book and wondering if these “celebrities” knew they were a part of something so awful. Didn’t they read the script ahead of time? Didn’t they have a right of refusal for their likenesses to be used? Or, have they all fallen so far that the best gig they can get is in a terrible comic?

Like most late-night tv fare, Killogy should be avoided. There is too much thrown in for no reason, and the nugget of a good story that was hidden within is lost in al the schlock dumped on top.

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