ORDER & CHAOS 1
Writer: Fred Boulos
Artist: JC Grande
Publisher: Fred Boulos (Comixology Submit)
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)
I’m no stranger to Comixology, despite my fangeezer love of all things tactile. I’m a realist, who now spends enough time with toddlers to understand pulp is going the way of the dinosaurs. Yes, I still buy my weeklies, but I have started a counterbalance with digital to get myself ready for this brave new backlit frontier.
Not just any digital will do, Comixology has created the best experience on the Web for comic reading. PDFs were invented by a masochist and I’m not quite the scumbag that I will as of yet .cbr torrent my collection. Morality aside, these are simply horrid ways to read a comic online. Zoom in to read the words, lose the panel. Zoom out to see the panel and bye-bye words. Only Comixology moves the panel like our eyes would across a page. Not to say Comixology is without flaws, but my grievance lies with the publishers more than Comixology. The fact we are charged the same price for something you never truly own outside of cloud storage is a little ridiculous. The price point gets more obscene when you think about all of the distribution that is shaved away in not having to physically put a comic on the shelf. However, unlike your local shop Comixology vastly discounts instead of raises the prices on older books and now Comixology has released Submit. Submit is a kick in the nuts to Diamond’s ridiculous print count requirements and opens the way for all indie books, including ORDER & CHAOS, to get into the hands of fandom outside of conventions.
Sorry to spend so much word count on Submit, but I still feel this service needs more PR. I only pimp that which I believe in and I would gladly serve as Comixology’s Huggy Bear given the purity of their mission to keep comics alive in the new digital frontier.
Now I will say ORDER & CHAOS is not my first Submit review request. I’ve received others and quite frankly they sucked. Sadly they weren’t worth even vastly discounted price. I won’t shit on indies though, if a book has no chances of reaching the masses there’s no need to crush someone’s dreams. ORDER & CHAOS though, this book is the goods. This could easily sit amongst the titles in the Image or Dark Horse lines.
The premise is simple, our protagonist loves destruction. We see early childhood days of him causing mayhem from ripping apart Christmas presents to some slightly more nefarious misdemeanors. It’s not just about the destruction though, it’s about the calculated precision required to truly obliterate something. Structural weakness, fracture points, chinks in the armor if you will. Mayhem is fine once in a while, but when you truly want to obliterate the physical world meticulous and methodical planning is essential.
Boulos does some fine work making destruction beautiful through our protagonist’s inner monologue. When our “hero” grows up he ends up where most kids that have a panache for destruction end up – the armed forces. His next step is logical as well; when you join the armed forces not out of patriotism or necessity – you go mercenary. This is where we spend a brunt of the book. Our man who finds order in chaos, ends up selling his services to some middle eastern militants looking to stage a coup. I’ve never been a military guy, but I was truly fascinated as these battle plans unfolded. The juxtaposition of the holy war being fought by the rebels counterbalanced by our protagonist’s cavalier attitude towards anything but destruction made this first issue breeze by in moments. I will say some of the rebel dialog was a bit hackneyed, but I can also see the necessity given how much exposition was required to introduce the world. It probably was the only way to keep the story moving.
On the art side of things, I’ll best describe Grande as indie comics Jeff Lemire. There’s a scratchiness to his pencils, but it’s not bred from laziness or lack of talent. It’s a choice and it works through 99% of the book. I’ll say his faces and form could use a bit more variety, but it’s a small flaw when compared to the well-drawn carnage.
ORDER & CHAOS is worth your time. Also, check out Submit – there’s gold in them thar indie hills if you simply look.