Under the Influence #1
Having followers is his business, and business is good.
I love cults. I love comics. So When I read the synopsis for Under the Influence #1, I was all in. Paul Kozac is your average modern kid. He’s completely tuned in to every modern convenience that the world has to offer; his life is well documented, and his devout audience thrives on it. So much so that they have caught the eye of the F.B.I., and it may be too late to apologize.
Current event comics are a great palette cleanser for the capes and web shooters. Under the Influence does a fantastic job of doing just that. Eliot Rahal takes us on a journey that highlights the dangers of cults, but also pings on how we as a society have become so comfortable with exploitation and shun those that enjoy a wall of privacy. Paul and his situation are no different. It’s like the saying goes: “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” Well, “It’s all fun and games until you start an online cult.” While the subject is nothing new, Eliot’s storytelling gives us a fresh perspective on online cults and spares us with the “everything on the internet is bad” approach. We get to see Paul’s origins while building to the next chapter of this story with an ending that has the right amount of reader angst and excitement.
Stefano Simeone brings Under the Influence to life with elegant tones that feel as modern as the story. And I would not do this review, the book, or the creators any justice if I didn’t mention how amazing the lines on the screens are! It harkens back to a time when one of my chores was to sit by the tv and box the side so the picture would clear up. And while Stefano has us hitting t.v.s for better reception, Frank Cvetkovic comes in, and it’s the bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, bases loaded, and hits a moon shot. The way he gives life to the characters is font-tastic! You feel Paul’s arrogance, and the agent’s anger, and you hear the ketchup bottle. It’s those little details that really make this book stand out.
If you took Never Been Kissed and 21 Jump Street and turned them into a modern day drama directed by David Lynch, you would have Under the Influence! Everything about his book works together really well; it’s a fun story but, at the same time, a sad one that is all too real.
Under the Influence #1: All in the Family (Advance Review)
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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