Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Writer: Dan Mendoza & Bryan Seaton
Artist: Dan Mendoza
What It Is: Present day Boston. A new kind of witch hunter is making the rounds: a life-sized sex doll inhabited by the Spirit of a 17th century woman.
Why It Works:
First of all, Mendoza’s anime-influenced art style hooked me right away. I’m not always an anime fan, but this isn’t pure anime, and my all-time favorite comic artist (Joe Madureira) had the same influence, though Mendoza is admittedly more cartoony here.
The story starts immediately into the action, which is good, but with such references that I thought I’d missed an issue, that set me back a little. Thankfully, as I kept reading, most of the answers fell into place and I appreciated the narrative structure employed.
The characters work for the most part, and just enough was given for me to invest in the story and care what happens, although I will say that the way the book ended, although intended as a cliff-hanger, felt simply imcomplete, as though the real cliff-hanger were on the following page that had not been included.
To sat that the book ended too soon and that I wasn’t ready for the story to end is usually taken as a compliment, though I’m not sure it should be here.
What Doesn’t Work:
Well, this is more of a personal preference than anything. What some will find as a turn-off, others will embrace wholly. What I’m talking about is the flippant amount of vulgarity. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t shy away from the swears in my own writing, and because of this, I know how many can’t stand to read it, though it isn’t a problem hearing it in movies, for some reason.
That being said, some of the f-bomb droppage did take me by surprise, but I chalk that up to the way it was used. As a book that, at its core, doesn’t take itself very seriously, I can only assume an undead witch using phrases like “f#ck beans,” “mother b*tch,” and “what the sh*t” are being played for comedic effect, but it comes off as bad characterization. The witch isn’t Deadpool.
While not for everyone, Dollface delivers a fun, off-beat and risqué new addiction.
The book is not without its flaws, but what it does well overshadows it’s shortcomings. While the dialogue was weak in parts, the story and characters were enough to keep me reading, and the artwork was never anything less than fun, lively, at times suggestive, and clearly top-notch.
I’m intrigued with where the story is heading and look forward to seeing how the narrative unfolds.
Dollface: Tales of the Ball-Jointed Witch Hunter #1 will be available on March 15 for its second-printing, after a highly successful first run last fall.