Pirouette #1

8.5 Overall Score
Art: 9/10
Dialoque: 8/10
Story: 8/10

The colourful art really steals the show.

May cause panic attacks if you don't like clowns.

Pirouette #1
(W) Mark L. Miller (A) Carlos Granda (CA) Alé Garza
Black Mask Comics
2014

Pirouette is a colourful, vibrant look at the life of a circus clown, which slowly but surely turns darker and darker in tone as you flip pages. It does an excellent job of portraying the dark side of the circus – while the patrons are busy reveling in the excitement and pleasure of a rare escape from their daily lives, the cast members are fighting for their attention, backstabbing each other for the spot light, and abusing each other for any advantage. It’s a colorful, bright look at a terrible, dark subject, and that works better than I ever expected.

The writing is solid here, telling a strong story with an excellent pace, and guiding the reader along a darkening path that they didn’t expect, without startling them or resorting to cheap tricks. The dialogue is just as strong. The barker’s singsongy calling really stands out. Poetic and attractive, it rings in your head and you can really hear them calling out. Characters each have a consistent voice, which is no small fete for such a varied cast.

What really deserves the center ring though, is the art. Characters are large and detailed. Backgrounds are varied and fully fleshed out. The colours fit the circus setting perfectly, and the variety is second to none. It’s pretty rare for me to just stop reading a comic and stare at panel after panel of art without absorbing the story, but that is exactly what I found myself doing here. Even if you never read the words in it, I would say this book is worth owning purely for the art.

It’s not perfect, of course, but Pirouette is still a great book, as long as you’re not afraid to stare a snarling, angry clown in the eyes. The dark tones might put some people off, especially set against the happy setting of the circus, but if you’re looking for a gritty story about what people are willing to do to survive when they have to, I don’t think Pirouette will let you down. I can’t wait for more!

 

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Author: Brian Reed View all posts by

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