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Johanna Ponders Conscription: Drafted #1

Brian Hibbs

People send me PDFs for review. Here’s my thoughts on one. Bear in mind that I use a laptop, so my screen space is minimal, and by the time I blow up the pages to be able to read the dialogue, I’m looking at individual panels, not full pages. It’s not the most ideal format, but it’s effectively free for both of us.

Drafted #1 made me wonder how fair it is to consider the publisher when evaluating a comic. The premise is intriguing — massive earthquakes around the world have killed hundreds of thousands, and as people struggle to cope with the aftermath and the uncertainty of the cause, aliens appear and instruct everyone to work together to go to war.

The Americans rally everyone together to resist, hoo hah!, and a convenience store clerk and some kind of office worker/intern are also introduced, presumably to play roles in later issues. The art is adequate, barely so at times, and the dialogue-heavy scenes are often visually unexciting. The quakes are staged in key political areas, including Jerusalem, which allows the writer to comment on current hot topics. I found myself wondering if the writer had speculated what the next chapter of Watchmen would be like and going on from there, but it’s only the most casual of resemblences.

I’d be a lot more excited about the next issue if the publisher hadn’t been built on schlocky licensed titles, horror, and Buffy-wannabe goth girl art. (Edit: Thanks to readers for pointing out I forgot to say that this is from Devil’s Due.) I just don’t have any faith that a serious exploration of sociocultural development and aftereffects of tragedy can come out from them. Instead of giving the artists credit for a good try, I find myself thinking that it’s a shallow attempt at relevance, because of who they’ve chosen to release and brand their story.

On the other hand, it kept my attention enough to finish the issue, rare for this publisher. I rate it Eh. Find out more at The World Needs You Now, a promotional worklog.

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