Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
*Released: *13th November 2013
“Sexy female clowns are mistaken for contract killers and abandon their shabby traveling circus for a world of violence and cruelty—with clown makeup.”
Sometimes the publisher’s description is the best place to start and in this case they’ve done a pretty decent job of summing up Victor Gischler’s Clown Fatale; a grindhouse movie-style comic that wears its influences proudly. This issue starts with a group of sexy clowns… [image: 2.jpg]
OK I don’t know WHY they’re clowns. They could have been strippers, though I guess that would have been a little too on the (red honking) nose. I guess given the genre they have to have some sort of hook and this probably seemed as good an excuse as any to have them unhappy and undressed. As long as you can keep Stephen King's Pennywise out of your mind, you'll be fine.
This issue starts with a group of sexy clowns not having a particularly good day working in the circus. There’s a little exposition in the form of narrative introductions to the main characters but for the most part this story starts off in high gear and doesn’t really let up; the entire first issue is designed to set them up as assassins and very little more. Fortunately the writing is enjoyable to read and any bad dialogue feels like an added touch of Exploitation movie authenticity rather than a lack of quality. This faithful adherence to genre tropes extends to the characters too as there doesn’t seem to be a single likeable person in this world. It’s something that’s par for the course for the style they’re going for but it says something when the main characters are so immoral that their first target has to attempt rape before the book can justify killing him. It does make me wonder how things will play out in future issues. [image: 3.jpg]
The artwork, like the writing, matches the tone they’re going for perfectly. It’s not as clean or finished as some of the larger titles but it’s not supposed to be. Each of the main characters seems to be designed to tick off some fetish or other and I’m sure anyone reading it will find they have a favourite in the group. No I’m not telling you who mine is. There’s also a fair bit of nudity here and if it feels gratuitous then, frankly, it’s supposed to. Maybe that’s where the beauty of the clown theme can be found; clowns are funny or scary but they should never be scary, and in putting them in stripper outfits (or less) it’s the reader’s own comfort that’s being exploited?
If there's a take-home sentiment of this review, then it's this; Clown Fatale is a perfect example of what it sets out to be, it just never attempts to be anything more.
And I’m alright with that. Clown Fatal is a fun read that delivers on every promise and I'm sure Quentin Tarantino is already bidding on the movie rights. In his honour I give this four naked Uma Therman's feet out of five.
via Darrell's Comic Cave - The Geek I/O Network http://www.geek-io.com/darrells-comic-cave/