4 out of 5
For superficial reasons – though glancing at the issues hasn’t changed my mind – I’ve taken a hard pass on Black Mask Comics’ output. Matt Miner – writer of Poser – has worked on quite a few issues for Black Mask. Artist Clay McCormack worked on a book called Redline, which I picked up after a cursory glance through but then couldn’t finish it. True, I think my decision was more story than art in that case, but the association exists. And: while I love Waxwork Records, their other comic hasn’t been all that hot. So, right – I was not expecting all that much from Poser.
Turns out, Poser, while not breaking any new ground is dang fun, achieving exactly what I imagine it’s trying to: to be a comic form of a slasher flick. In this case, an 80s bogeyman who slashed up some punk rock teens for being ‘posers’ has suddenly popped up again in modern times, a’slashin’ away. McCormack’s sketchy figures, along with Doug Garbark’s dirty colors, perfectly capture the snotty SoCal teen vibe and the crummy clubs in which they exist; Miner’s writing is casually referential to music and culture but naturally so. Similarly, he winds teenager soap opera into things (relationship woes; band breakups) in a manner that informs the characters, but doesn’t shove it in our faces. It’s a valid setup to get us to be okay with this pack of teens before – in short (and grisly) order – ol’ slashy starts to cut ’em up.
I’ll likely be saving my dollars for space / budget reasons and won’t be reading future issues, hence reviewing them before the story completes, but these two issues were a nice surprise, perfectly replicating the grody 80s pick-’em-off horror movies that Waxwork Records’ owners most certainly enjoy, and likely their fans do as well.