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Proof Review
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7/14/2008 8:44 PM
    Monsters, Aliens, all things supernatural.
    What is it with us that we’re so interested, if not downright obsessed with these topics? Isn’t the world that we live in today interesting enough as it is?
    Well, I guess it can be pretty depressing, and everyone (well, pretty much everyone), likes to think that there is more to our world than meets the eye, that there really is something else ‘out there’ for us to discover.
    One of North America’s longest running science fiction shows touched upon these very subjects every week. You must still remember the X-files, right? After all, the second X-files movie comes out in about two weeks time…
    So, I guess what I’m getting to is this… if you like these subjects, then I have a comic book for you.
    It’s called Proof. It’s written by Alexander Grecian (Negative Burn, 24-hour comics and Seven Sons), penciled by local Calgary Artist Riley Rossmo (who has collaborated with Mr. Grecian), and coloured by Tyler Jenkins.
    It’s your classic team-up - a man and woman working together to solve supernatural crimes. Overtures of Mulder and Scully, wouldn’t you say?
    But here’s the twist. Eloquent John Prufrock, the male lead, he’s actually Bigfoot, you know, the famous (infamous?) Sasquatch of mythology.
    How’s that for an unexpected twist?
    The first Graphic Novel covers issues 1 to 5 of the ongoing series published by Image comics. It encompasses an entire story arc called Goatsucker - which not only sets up the basis for the series and the canon to follow, but introduces all the main characters as well.
    The lead characters are as follows – Proof, AKA John Prufrock, Ginger Brown, his partner, Elvis Chestnut, Isabella Bay, Wayne Russet, Leander Wight.
    This cast of characters is based out of the Lodge, their base as well as home to many Cryptids, mythological creatures who would otherwise be extinct if it wasn’t for their efforts. After all, because mankind tends to breed like the proverbial rabbits, and we adapt to every single clime in the world, there really isn’t any place for the Cryptids anymore.
    Mankind is pretty much wholly responsible for their decline in numbers.
    Ok, time for my usual disclaimer – I will not give out any major spoilers for this graphic novel. Unlike most books or movies, there isn’t all that much in the way of a description on the back cover, nor are there any trailers to watch. I’ll still try to be as thorough as possible without ruining it for anyone.
    The only spoiler I will state is this – the goatsucker isn’t the creature I was expecting, considering that I’ve read the myth re-written in several different forms over the past few years. In fact, in my view, it has far more in common with another Native American myth than that of the goatsucker.
    Don’t let that deter you however; the graphic novel is very much worth buying and reading.
    The story itself is a mixture of horror, humour and fact. The subject matter, when it comes right down to it can be quite horrific, but it is easily tempered with laugh out loud humour.
    One very nice little touch is the ‘Cryptoids’ that are scattered throughout the pages of the novel. These are little tidbits of fact which help explain things to the reader and help movie the story along.
    Are these Cryptoids accurate? I couldn’t honestly say. I’m sure if I took the time to look up the information on the internet I would discover for sure… but frankly, I’m too lazy to bother. Hey, I’m honest if anything…
    The characters themselves are quite interesting - especially a mythological beast that is well groomed and has a wider vocabulary than a lot of college students. They’re written in such a way that they don’t come across as ‘characters’… instead they come across as if they were real people.
    Which, lets face it, they’re not. But that’s the sign of a good writer. I’m actually interested in reading the history and the background for these characters now.
    I’ve stated this before, and I’ll state it again. I’ve been called fascist when it comes to my taste in art. In fact, I’ve been called a lot worse over the years. I will admit that I have very high standards when it comes right down to it.
    Riley Rossmo’s art isn’t what I’m used to. There I’ve said it. However, his style does suit the genre perfectly. It has a dark, gritty feel to it, and despite the fact that there is humour involved, I feel is a perfect reflection of the writer’s vision.
    As for the colouring, it’s by far not your typical four coloured comic. The colouring tends to be very dark, with the liberal use of black, grey and browns. When other colours appear, say, blood red, it really stands out.
    This comic would lose some of its quality if it used bright and vibrant colours, in this reviewer’s opinion.
    So, that being said, this comic is worth purchasing and reading. In fact, now that I’ve purchased the graphic novel, at the time I wrote this review they were up to issue 9, and I have all the issues now.
    I even made sure that I got Riley Rossmo to autograph my copy of the graphic novel, which I was very pleased with.
    One last thing to note – the last couple of pages foreshadow things to come in the future of this series, and it looks like some will be devastating, and some will humorous.
    A must have for fans of the X-files, science fiction, humour and mythology in general
    5 out of 5
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