This week’s main review is Grommets #1. Plus, the Wednesday Comics Team has its usual rundown of the new #1s, finales and other notable issues from non-Big 2 publishers, all of which you can find below … enjoy!

GrommetsGrommets #1

Writers: Rick Remender and Brian Posehn
Artist: Brett Parson
Colorist: Moreno Dinisio
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics – Giant Generator

Review by Zack Quaintance

So, I’ll be blunt — I absolutely loved this comic. Grommets is a suburban teen skate comic, set in ’80s California (Sacramento, specifically). It’s written by Rick Remender and comedian Rian Posehn, with art by Brett Parson, colors by Moreno Dinisio, and letters by Rus Wooton. The story starts when our hero’s family moves to town, and he heads out to school, board under his arm, determined to make some new friends — a determination that quickly brings him to the skate park.

In that sense, it’s really sort of a familiar slice of life comic. New kid at a new school, encountering cliques, awkwardness, over-eager friends who aren’t quite what they present themselves as, etc. But to describe it that way also feels like it’s really under-selling Grommets, an immersive and fast-paced comic with just the absolute perfect sense of humor.

Indeed, that last item is the bit I was most impressed by. The jokes come often and quickly in this one. They aren’t forced or belabored either. This comic just has a great sense of humor, with quick hit jokes that come at a high rate.

It always feels reductive to describe a comic as fun, but it’s hard not to with this one, which romanticizes the proto golden era of skateboarding in pitch perfect ways. Parson and Dinisio’s aesthetic is also just perfect for this story, laying out so many fun and detailed panels with high energy foregrounds. In the back matter at one point, Remender describes the artwork as “…a brilliant archealogical dig into the suburbs of ’84…” and that’s such an apt description, I’m not going to try to add anything to it.

Ultimately, I think Grommets is a fantastic comic that fills a niche in the market most readers didn’t know could be filled. It’s also a great addition to the interesting trio of books Remender currently has coming out, slotting in with Holy Roller and Napalm Lullaby, to give his Giant Generator imprint a great sense of variety.

Verdict: BUY


Wednesday Comics Reviews

  • Death Ratio’d #1 (AWA Studios): Written by Mark RussellDeath Ratio’d is a one-shot that boasts a darkly funny and interesting concept that at first seems more comical than the more realistic art of Laci seemed a fit for but as the story progresses everything clicks, especially when the stakes dial up in the back half. Laci’s work with colors by Marco Lesko, illustrates a vibrant and still bleak dystopian future (think more cyberpunk in aesthetics than Y.A. novel dystopia) connecting it to reality. The art provides a sense of horror that this is where we could be headed as we see less regulation, more technological “innovation” and unparalleled moral apathy at death while we continue to like or swipe away. Bleak huh? Sometimes we need a laugh to keep from despondency and the jokes here land, as characters fire witty retorts, lettered by Sal Cipriano. It is a libertarian hellscape that took the concept of social media to the nth degree with a deadly twist: bomb collars that will explode the head of anyone who is disliked too much. It’s a fun one-shot that serves very well as an exploration of how at its worst social media can be a glorified game of personality and aesthetics serving to make our corporate overlords richer. For as connected as it can make us amidst local and global struggles, showing how similar we are, sometimes it’s a stark indicator of how dissimilar and disconnected we can be. —Khalid Johnson

The Prog Report

  • 2000AD Prog 2384 (Rebellion Publishing): “The Undercity’s where Mega-City’s collective fears come to rest.” This was a cool line from this week’s Judge Dredd story, part three of Judge Dredd: Iron Teeth. To be totally honest, I’ve been a little lukewarm on this story, but I felt like some of the world-building in this week’s installment was really clever. Specifically, I enjoyed the horrors under Mega City One. Having just read Apocalypse War, The Lost Sov was my favorite, “the last mutated survivor of the Apocalypse War.” That’s a lot of fun. This one is written by Ken Niemand, with art by Nick Percival, and letters by Annie Parkhouse. The rest of this week’s issue is also very strong, with Intesinauts and Blue Skies Over Deadwick ranking as two of my recent non-Dredd favs. As always, you can nab a digital copy of this week’s Prog here. —Zack Quaintance

Read more entries in the weekly Wednesday Comics reviews series!