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Magilicutty published on No Comments on Magilicutty

Magillicutty Cover ClipThe last ten years have seen super heroes surge from comic books into a plethora of other media, and Sam Bruch’s Magilicutty is a refreshing look at the side of Good v. Evil that rarely gets addressed in the tights-wearing world: that of the evil henchmen. The art and panel composition ultimately hold the comic back, but the writing and general timbre of the story make the first issue of this comic well worth picking up.

The Good

The story does a brilliant job of painting henchmen as average Joes with problems that do a lot to humanize them; The story’s namesake character, Magilicutty, wrestles with insurance and family problems while going out in the daytime to his 9 to 5 job as a thug. A world where people rent themselves out to second-rate costumed villains and vie among themselves for jobs with A list villains is pretty compelling in concept, and for the most part, Bruch does well in execution; the henchmen are believable, with a sense of humor internal to the work without making it seem like slapstick or genre comedy. While having a definite touch of meta commentary, it still tells a story and does it well.

The Bad

The final dialogue could have used some line-work and tweaking, with special consideration of the characters’ personalities and backgrounds. What works about the story is its internal consistency, so when a character delivers a line that only makes sense from a writer or reader’s point of view, it breaks the suspension of disbelief. It makes a cursory sense for one henchman to accuse another henchman of being ineloquent,  and could be a reasonable line if either character has been established as artistic. But this isn’t the sort of information the reader gets about character, so the logical conclusion becomes, “Oh, that henchman is picking on the other henchman’s ineloquence because the writer didn’t like the line.” These sorts of small, niggling holes are easy to patch up with teamwork, but are ultimately all too present in self-published work–Magilicutty is, sadly, no exception. In fact, there are a number of other small problems that leaked their way in — the end of this comic is not the end of the story, but the cover doesn’t make much of an effort to tell the reader that this is issue one, or even part one of a larger work. Stuff like that can’t be safely assumed, and it’s not fair to consumers.

And while the writing has a unique and powerful (if rough) voice, the art feels as if it were made with no love for the concept. Magillicutty is a story about supers, and really could have benefited from an artist who better understands that aesthetic.

The Disclaimer

I know Sam Bruch in person, and physically helped with this project. I was around when he wrote it, I read an early script of it, and helped with some post production problems when he had all the art together. He paid me with a bit of ad space in the back for Ramen Empire. There’s a definite conflict of interest here; I want you buy the comic. Do it now, at this IndyPlanet link. But in lobbying for the success of this product, especially if I’m doing so in the form of reviewing it, I’d be disingenuous to give it a glowing review. It’s Sam Bruch’s first comic book, and while he needs to be incredibly proud that he made it, the fact that it’s his first one shows.

The Bottom Line

If you like supers and would enjoy a meta-consideration of a world where they exist, this is well worth the $1.50 it costs at IndyPlanet. It has problems, but I’ve seen professional comics from big publishers with way worse. Give it a read and support an up-and-coming writer’s career.

He deserves it.


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