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Thursday, April 18, 2024

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SLOW CITY BLUES #1 review (and interview with Haine and Livesay) – This is Your Brain on … (Haine, Moll, Livesay, Baron, Mauer, Cooper) ZOOP

Thanks to Paul Christensen with PAL Public Relations for the review copy!

Variant cover by David Finch

SLOW CITY BLUES is about a Detective who attempts to take his own life and ends up in a world constructed by his mind. That sounds pretty dark, but that world, Slow City, is bonkers – and I mean that in a good way. In the first issue Detective John Loris finds himself in a bar populated by a menagerie of crazy characters. SLOW CITY BLUES has a noir feel with a Who Framed Roger Rabbit energy and aesthetic. While the book is obviously all illustrated, the book makes it feel like Loris is the ‘real person’ while the other characters are animated.

Aside from an establishing page showing us what happened to Loris, we don’t know anything about what led him to that predicament. Instead, we have to uncover the mystery through his navigation of the world created by his brain. It’s interesting to see how aspects of his life (like his partner) are reinvented in Slow City and the clues about Loris’ life that are sprinkled in through the prism of his dream world. For example, Loris doesn’t seem very popular in Slow City and he’s given a nickname that makes you want to learn why he’s called that.

The world of Slow City presents the opportunity for some great visuals. The art in this book really pops. From the inventive background characters populating the bar to the four on one fight scene that gives us a glimpse at what Loris can do, SLOW CITY BLUES is a visual treat. Loris’ partner in particular looks great (I won’t spoil what he looks like) and you can see the care that went into drawing him. The fight scene employs deft choreography and fluid movement to paint a vivid picture of the action. 

SLOW CITY BLUES strikes a great balance of humor and darkness, which is not easy to do. The first issue of the series sets up the premise and lays out the questions Loris needs to figure out. Being a five issue story, the next four issues are now positioned to deliver on a fun premise. There is some cursing so some parental discretion is advised.

SLOW CITY BLUES #1 is now available for purchase here: https://zoop.gg/c/slowcityblues. As a special incentive anyone who purchases an early bird special in the first 48 hours will be entered to win this original piece of art from the book. Also for the first 48 hours they are offering variant covers from David Finch (which you can see at the top of the review), and Doug Mahnke.

Be sure to check out the interview I did with Samuel Haine and John Livesay about the title, their previous work, and a lot more!

Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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