Tag Archives: jacob semahn

Review: No. 1 With A Bullet #3

In No. 1 With A Bullet #3, writer Jacob Semahn, artist Jorge Corona, and colorist Jen Hickman go full David Fincher while still spending plenty of time showing Nash Huang coming to grips with the public’s reaction to a leaked video (Via high tech contact lenses.) of her having sex with her old boss Jad Davies. She also has a stalker who likes to leave Bible verses in blood in her apartment, and the first bits of the comic are Nash talking to a fairly friendly and empathetic police officer. The midway point of this series starts as a lot of (good) unpacking and fallout, but then Semahn, Corona, and Hickman slam down on the gas with an adrenaline packed sequence that seems to all be in the protagonist’s head, but actually has very real consequences. Because “it was all a dream” is such a cop out.

Corona’s layouts in the first half of No. 1 With A Bullet #3 are fairly traditional with nine panel grids and talking TV heads that wouldn’t be out of place with some of the big comic book hits of 1986. But his figures are quirky and idosyncratic as ever. As exhibited by books like Mister Miracle this past year, there’s nothing wrong with a nine panel grid if it’s used in a creative way to add layers to a story instead of having talking head dialogue. For the most part, Corona and Hickman nail this part like when Jad, who is a little apologetic after losing his big shot media job, is maybe a little too “sorry” on the phone with his sleazy fixer/PR buddy Maddox. Corona never shows Maddox; he is the man behind the curtain, and instead focuses on a freaking out Jad or the news cameras slowing wheeling up to his house. To pick a very contemporary example, he is like YouTuber Logan Paul and is backpedaling and freaking out not because he understands that he has violated a woman’s privacy and sexually assaulted her via technology, but because he got caught and has less chances at getting money and power. Hickman chooses grey for most of these panels that fits perfectly with his glum mood and the fact that Maddox is using “grey areas” to protect his client.

However, No. 1 With A Bullet #3 isn’t all media reactions and excellent commentary about how men who “perform” in leaked sex videos are treated like studs or at least are allowed a second chance while women are slut shamed. This second theme does give the book real world relevance, including sobering commentary from the victim of the Black Dahlia Murders about how people would rather have a lurid tabloid story than think about victims as people. This sequence happens in a semi horror/semi hallucination/not-so-guided tour of the Museum of Death, which Nash’s hemorrhaging artist friend thinks would be a great way to get her to relax. When they’re in the museum, all bets and Jorge Corona grid compositions are off and replaced with tilting and moving panels plus plenty of negative space. There’s the usual harbingers of the macabre, like skeletons and clowns, coupled with negative social media comments about Nash that make her feel trapped in a scary space. It’s a reminder of that classic horror saying that humans, especially powerful, unapologetic men, are the real monsters.

Even though the events of the story take a much needed turn for the traditional horror, Jacob Semahn, Jorge Corona, and Jen Hickman continue to find No. 1 with a Bullet #3’s scariest and most insightful moments in a slightly heightened version of the real world.

Story: Jacob Semahn Art: Jorge Corona Colors: Jen Hickman
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Review: No. 1 With A Bullet #1

Unlike their previous Image series Goners, which was inspired by the classic 1980s kids vs monsters genre, writer Jacob Semahn, artist Jorge Corona, and colorist Jen Hickman go for the present and future in No. 1 With A Bullet #1. The comic’s protagonist Nash Huang, a young queer woman, who is the assistant to celebrity talk show host Jad Davies and tests out special contact lenses that record everything around her and create artificial stimulus and sensations. In the wrong (or anyone’s) hands, this new tech could be creepy as hell. Jad is like Chris Hardwick yet creepier even if Semahn and Corona don’t flesh him out a lot in the first issue choosing to focus on a day in the life of Nash that starts freaky when she puts, gets normal, and yes, gets freaky to close out the book.

Jen Hickman’s disorienting yellow, black, and bloody red color palette is the real MVP of No. 1 With A Bullet‘s opening sequence. The leeching and bloodletting of Hollywood is almost literal from Corona’s opening title page of spurting blood covering the office of Jad Davies. The first few pages are intense and immersive with colors that shock and awe before pulling back and starting to build up the character of Nash and the series’ theme of invasion of privacy, and the fact that through the Internet almost anyone could ruin our lives. Conversations and activities that we once thought we thought are private could be recorded either through audio or video or live tweeted by some complete or utter stranger.

The ability to be hacked, framed, or having your private moments made public is the engine that drives the horror of No. 1 With A Bullet. It’s scary because its real; this comic (and sort of the recent Instagram generation dark stalker comedy Ingrid Goes West) made me seriously consider putting all my social media accounts or private or locked. However, Corona’s bendy anatomy and Hickman’s sometimes desert sunset, sometimes zonked out urban wasteland (The scenes where Nash runs errands in the city.) color palette keep the comic more stylized and less documentary style.

Along with the Jen Hickman’s colors and the surreal, futuristic meets this-could-be-the present images of Jorge Corona, Jacob Semahn’s strong characterization She isn’t a Final Girl, damsel in distress, or pick your trope and take a shot character, but a human woman with flaws, virtues, realistic relationships, and a sense of humor. She loves her partner, Violet, checks Twitter way too much, sometimes says problematic things, and maybe works a little too hard at her low rung on the Hollywood ladder job. Semahn’s grounded writing of Nash gives readers an anchor in the reality bending weirdness of No. 1 with A Bullet.

Social media offers a way to become famous, infamous, or something between with a hacked iCloud server or an unintentional drunk tweet or private message having scary consequences. Jacob Semahn, Jorge Corona, and Jen Hickman channel this primal, yet technological fear in No. 1 with A Bullet and chase it with colorscapes that will be seared into your brain and a main character that you will want to grab a drink and maybe hug.

Story: Jacob Semahn Art: Jorge Corona Colors: Jen Hickman
Story: 7.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Advance Review: No. 1 With A Bullet #1

Unlike their previous Image series Goners, which was inspired by the classic 1980s kids vs monsters genre, writer Jacob Semahn, artist Jorge Corona, and colorist Jen Hickman go for the present and future in No. 1 With A Bullet #1. The comic’s protagonist Nash Huang, a young queer woman, who is the assistant to celebrity talk show host Jad Davies and tests out special contact lenses that record everything around her and create artificial stimulus and sensations. In the wrong (or anyone’s) hands, this new tech could be creepy as hell. Jad is like Chris Hardwick yet creepier even if Semahn and Corona don’t flesh him out a lot in the first issue choosing to focus on a day in the life of Nash that starts freaky when she puts, gets normal, and yes, gets freaky to close out the book.

Jen Hickman’s disorienting yellow, black, and bloody red color palette is the real MVP of No. 1 With A Bullet‘s opening sequence. The leeching and bloodletting of Hollywood is almost literal from Corona’s opening title page of spurting blood covering the office of Jad Davies. The first few pages are intense and immersive with colors that shock and awe before pulling back and starting to build up the character of Nash and the series’ theme of invasion of privacy, and the fact that through the Internet almost anyone could ruin our lives. Conversations and activities that we once thought we thought are private could be recorded either through audio or video or live tweeted by some complete or utter stranger.

The ability to be hacked, framed, or having your private moments made public is the engine that drives the horror of No. 1 With A Bullet. It’s scary because its real; this comic (and sort of the recent Instagram generation dark stalker comedy Ingrid Goes West) made me seriously consider putting all my social media accounts or private or locked. However, Corona’s bendy anatomy and Hickman’s sometimes desert sunset, sometimes zonked out urban wasteland (The scenes where Nash runs errands in the city.) color palette keep the comic more stylized and less documentary style.

Along with the Jen Hickman’s colors and the surreal, futuristic meets this-could-be-the present images of Jorge Corona, Jacob Semahn’s strong characterization She isn’t a Final Girl, damsel in distress, or pick your trope and take a shot character, but a human woman with flaws, virtues, realistic relationships, and a sense of humor. She loves her partner, Violet, checks Twitter way too much, sometimes says problematic things, and maybe works a little too hard at her low rung on the Hollywood ladder job. Semahn’s grounded writing of Nash gives readers an anchor in the reality bending weirdness of No. 1 with A Bullet.

Social media offers a way to become famous, infamous, or something between with a hacked iCloud server or an unintentional drunk tweet or private message having scary consequences. Jacob Semahn, Jorge Corona, and Jen Hickman channel this primal, yet technological fear in No. 1 with A Bullet and chase it with colorscapes that will be seared into your brain and a main character that you will want to grab a drink and maybe hug when the comic drops in November.

Story: Jacob Semahn Art: Jorge Corona Colors: Jen Hickman
Story: 7.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Goners #6

Goners #6

Story By: Jacob Semahn
Art By: Jorge Corona
Cover By: Jorge Corona
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: JAN150689
Published: March 25, 2015

“WE ALL FALL DOWN,” Conlusion Josiah and Zoe are put to the test as the world stands on the brink of destruction.

Goners06_Cover

Preview: Goners #5

Goners #5

Story By: Jacob Semahn
Art By: Jorge Corona
Cover By: Jorge Corona
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: DEC140735
Published: February 18, 2015

“WE ALL FALL DOWN,” Part Five. Hard answers and death await as the Latimers take the fight to Bellweather Sanatorium.

Goners05_Cover

Preview: Goners #4

Goners #4

Story By: Jacob Semahn
Art By: Jorge Corona
Cover By: Jorge Corona
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: NOV140657
Published: January 21, 2015

“WE ALL FALL DOWN,” Part Four With the power vacuum widening, the horrors that stalk the Latimers set their eyes on the cite of King’s Bluff itself.

Goners04_Cover

Preview: Goners #3

Goners #3

Story By: Jacob Semahn
Art By: Jorge Corona
Cover By: Jorge Corona
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: OCT140742
Published: December 17, 2014

“WE ALL FALL DOWN,” Part Three A family separated. A family found. A family death.

Goners03_Cover

Preview: Goners #2

Goners #2

Story By: Jacob Semahn
Art By: Jorge Corona
Cover By: Jorge Corona
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: ICSEP140722
Published: November 19, 2014

“WE ALL FALL DOWN,” Part Two Assault on the King’s Bluff Police Station as the Latimer children fight their way out against the onslaught of horrors that stalk them.

Goners02_Cover

Preview: Goners #1

Goners #1

Story By: Jacob Semahn
Art By: Jorge Corona
Cover By: Jorge Corona
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: AUG140543
Published: October 22, 2014

“WE ALL FALL DOWN,” Part One From the colonization of Roanoke to the Cold War, the world famous Latimer Family has been humanity’s lone defense against paranormal horrors for centuries…until tonight. A deadly assault on the lineage forces an unprepared brother and sister to solve their parents’ murder while trying to escape the grim landscape of horrors that stalk the children themselves.

Goners01_Cover