LOCAL #1 (Portland, Oregon)
"Ten Thousand Thoughts Per Second." This is the first in a series published by Oni Press. We can thank writer Brian Wood, artist Ryan Kelly, and editor James Lucas Jones for this unique production (lettering by Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley).
About the story, LOCAL: In Brian Wood's words, LOCAL "is a series of short stories about people and the places they live in...the location can't be the story, though." LOCAL will move from place-to-place, and in fact, #2 is set in Minneapolis, Minnesota ("Polaroid Boyfriend") and #3 is set in Richmond, Virginia ("Theories and Defenses"). The first issue starts in 1994, with each subsequent issue about one year later, and we can expect to see Megan McKeenan in each issue--as either a main or background character. By issue #12, Megan, who starts out as a 17-year old, will be about 30 years old.
About the artist, Ryan Kelly: Editor James Lucas and Brian wanted the right person for the job, and one day, Brian's eye caught Giant Robot Warriors, which features the art of Ryan Kelly. Simply put, Brian needed a top-notch artist that could pump out a monthly comic. LOCAL #1 is in black and white, and it also includes some great features on the art progression for LOCAL #1 and LOCAL #2.
About the writer, Brian Wood: Put plainly, Brian is one of the best. Just go look at his stuff, if you don't already know of him. If you click his name and go to his website, you'll see an enormous list of his works that include the following: DMZ, DEMO, THE COURIERS, CHANNEL ZERO, and FIGHT FOR TOMORROW, etc. Enough said.
My first impression: So it is clear that there is a strong cast putting together LOCAL. I'm allowed one blanket statement per review, so here it goes: Megan is a fantastic character to build this series on. In the art, there are interesting and smart details that you can't avoid like the clock (3:00, 3:02, 4:00, etc.) and the car (with a bumper sticker saying "my daughter is an HONOR student"). I'm not going to tell the end of the story, but Megan is in the car with some jerk that is trying to get her to fill a forged prescription for diamorphine. We see, in amazing detail, Megan going through several different options of what to do, and then we see the final decision. I love that each episode will be self-contained--thanks for the finality.
I want to lay it down in two areas: First, there are a few f-bombs, so youngsters beware. Second, if we are going to see more of Megan, let's get some deeper character development in the coming episodes. It's not like I didn't get it in the first episode, because I did, but I'd like to know more about what makes her tick as a character. And p.s., is there any way to fit in Dallas, Texas? Just asking...
RECOMMENDATION: Subscribe and buy #2. This's a must read series.