With the death of another Toxic Fruit soldier, the organization is at a breaking point. Lose any more agents and they might not be able to hold the line against the demonic threat. Tart and two of her colleagues are pulled from the front lines and sent on a survival training mission, while their boss travels to the outskirts of Hell to barter with a Devil.
Definitely one of the major developments of the expansion of the internet is the manner in which information is passed, including in how creative work is published. As opposed to the olden days (if you can call days before the internet as “olden” already) when creators trying to get into the market had to have the right combination of skill and luck, now there is a wide array of ways in which new creators can get their material to the general public. In the case of comiXology, they provide access to their distribution network to not only the big companies but also to start-ups and the self-published. In so doing the creative efforts of the next wave are being given a chance to compete for the attention of the general public, with the weeding out process being met with different forces than before. Instead of editors turning away the aspiring talents, now they can be weeded by either selling or not.
Strangely enough a lot of these stories have some commonalities, and some of these are seen in Tart. It would seem as though new comic creators have a strong affinity for female characters who are demon hunters. Even when as high-profile as a new creator as Jenna Jameson got into comics (though she did not really have much to do other than the concept) this was a core idea. Tart is the same to do some degree as it deals with similar imagery both from a writing and artistic perspective.
As a kind of proving grounds for new comic talent, it is kind of interesting to see some of the work put into this series, having reached #4 already. The writer relies on a lot of simple plot points and the characters are not really fully fleshed out. In a previous issue, the characters dealt with their sexuality, and this too seems to be a hallmark of a new writer, especially it would seem of a male writer handling female characters. Equally the artist here embarks on the same journey, with a certain amount of gratuitous nudity that doesn’t really serve any point. Despite the rookie mistakes here though, it is interesting to read in a sense, kind of like why people will go to a minor league baseball game. They are not likely to see anything new or even very exciting, but still get a reliable form of entertainment, and might just see a future star, all for a fraction of the cost.
In the case of Tart, this might be the case, it is evident that the writer and the artist still have a long way to go, but it also seems like the talent is there. For someone with a bit of extra change to throw at comics in any given week, this might not be a bad choice. The entire collection of four issues thus far costs less than some monthly comics, and it is promising at times although at other times it is frustrating. The end result is obviously not the same as would be expected from a mainstream publisher, but the reader shouldn’t be looking for this either. On the whole, I would give this a miss, but others might see past some of the shortcomings and find a gem here, or in other comiXology series offering new creators similar opportunities, although this one seems to have some potential hidden within.
Story: Kevin Joseph Art: Ludovic Salle
Story: 5.0 Art: 4.8 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass
Comixology and Kechal Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review