Punchline #1 and #2

Review: Punchline #1 and #2

Cover art Punchline Comic

Versema and Black Arrow

Art by Matthew Weldon - Punchline published by Lone Star Press

Review: Punchline #1 and #2

Brief (26 pages for the combined issues #1 and #2) stories about two women, Mel and Jesse, who meet by chance one snowy night in a cemetery. Mel appears to be mortally wounded from an unexplained earlier attack and is preparing to die in the cemetery (an irony noted in her pithy internal dialogue) but she comes upon a young women who is occupying a stone bench overlooking this unnamed city. After a short exchange with Jesse (who has come to the cemetery to escape "family drama"), Mel reveals that she is in this dire situation because she has been an "agent for supernatural powers" and a "gunslinger" and "I lived the life of a gunslinger, and this is how a gunslinger goes out." The conversation between the two soon presents a fantastical situation: the expiring Mel can pass on her powers to Jesse (which she does).

Punchline moves fast and though there are details missing from the story line (like how it is that in issue #2 Jesse's superhero identity is suddenly "Versema," and why it is Mel doesn't die) the narrative structure indicates we're looking upon various mysteries that will be filled in as we go along. The practices of superheroes (looking for crime) is taken for granted within the story and there's not any effort made to try and explain how a girl can suddenly fly (and fight crime), instead it's accepted as part of a world in which there are apparently a lot of superheroes on the loose and of course they should fight crime with their powers.

The dialogue is informative and funny in places, and there is a kind of self-awareness within the story concerning superheroes that makes for a funny sequence about super-women costuming.

Weldon's art sometimes looks "light-boxed" but it's clearly delineated art and tells the story well. Trouble is taken to provide backgrounds indicating the weather and night-time environment and that adds a lot of mood to the story. He shows Jesse doing a 'Popeye' when surprised (one eye shut and the other bugged open) and it seems jarring at first but endearing later.

Altogether these two issues are interesting and I am looking forward to the next installment.

Punchline is available in digital from drivethrucomics.com and Comixology

Punchline Art  -  Dead Zone

Punchline Cover issue 1 Weldon


Original Page October 16, 2017