These days it can be hard to find comics that appeal to broad audiences outside of the mainstream, especially since the “indie” and comix scene are quite often broken up into special-interest targeted comics. But once in a rare while, a set of independent creators brings a comic that is broadly appealing, readable, engaging, and easily more worth the money than a continually repeating X-Men storyline or apocalyptic Justice League cross-over. Today, Not So Super is that comic.
Not So Super is a brand new comic by Jacques Nyemb and artist Joe Hunter that tells the story of a young man, slaving away at work in a dead-end job with too much to do and not enough time for social life (or his work life!)…and he just happens to be slowly become superpowered. (Yep, I think I’ll be eating Chinese food tonight with the hope of getting x-ray vision)
Not So Super is an ode to nerdism and the popular culture of geekdom, and it’s a ballad to the working technocrat. Oh, and, finally, an engaging and non-stereotypical character of color, where his being “of color” isn’t a big deal or a major selling point! That may seem odd to say, but in an industry which only diversifies to sell more comics to a broad range of people, it’s relieving to see a character of color who’s life isn’t controlled by his identity as a comic book character of color (oh the irony, since I’m making such a big deal of it!).
Nyemb’s script is highly accessible, and while that can be a downfall for some books, when done right, it allows the writer to present a comic that straddles the readership line from adolescents to adults and beyond. Nyemb presents the corporate world as the enemy of the nerd, but the necessary employer (albeit at low rates) since we all know that bureaucracy would fall to pieces without the tech guys. Perhaps the allusions to I.T. Crowd are a bit too heavy, but I’m only saying that because I’m not the biggest fan of that show (ugh, laugh tracks!). And while Dan isn’t a superpowered fellow yet, he’s certainly the hero of a world we all know too well. In a way, it’s nice to see this transition from the normal drudgery take place slowly over the course of the first issue, with Dan’s superpowers only manifesting in the last two pages: the transition helps us as readers become familiar with Dan and ourselves while recognizing that things could always get better (with x-ray initializing Chinese food, no doubt!).
Let’s not forget Hunter’s awesome work with Not So Super. It’s difficult to put a finger on the reminiscences of Hunter’s art, but it’s equally simplistic and fun, while complexly suggestive of action and populated with nuanced references and clues that visually help develop characters beyond Nyemb’s script. Hunter is a master of tone and expression, especially evident in the interactions between Dan and his coworkers, and he’s able to express a range of emotions outside of an artistic style grounded in reflective realism.
Nyemb and Hunter, both independents, are people you want to support! (Or at least I’m partial to your supporting them…) You can purchase the comic digitally here, and if you’re an artist yourself, you can get a free copy by submitting fan art (which they’ll social-mediatize across the Internet on your behalf). So click on over to their store, share with your social media friends, draw some fan art, and lose yourself for a half hour in Dan’s story which is so like our own.
Story: Jacques Nyemb Art: Joe Hunter
Story: 7 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Nyemb and Hunter provided us with a FREE copy for review