Story by Alex de Campi
Art by Tony Parker and Blond
Cover by Tony Parker
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: November 2, 2016
In 1971 the Cold War is in full swing. Hippies culture is cool. People protest the Vietnam war. Cars come with 8-track players. It is a groovy time to be alive. This is time and place of Mayday #1. Mayday #1—first in a 5 issue series is written by Alex de Campi and brought to life with artwork from Tony Parker and Blond.
Alex de Campi gives us a thrill ride of a story. As you might imagine from a 5-part series, there is not much time for an introduction of characters. The action needs to grab by the lapels from the get go and does not let go. Also, de Campi has added a neat touch in that she has provided a soundtrack to Mayday, bringing the book to a higher level of experience. Furthermore, she has even created a Spotify playlist should you wish to listen while you read. Of course, you could read Mayday without listening to the music, yet, if you decide not to listen, you are cheating yourself of the whole experience.
When people are reading, it can be so easy to simply hear the written words as you would say them. However, de Campi chooses a different tact. She uses the standard angle brackets to show that the Soviets are speaking Russian but the words are still written as if they are speaking with a stilted Russian accent. As a result, you hear the words exactly as you are supposed to hear them. Of course, if you are familiar with de Campi’s work; you already know she is a master of using simple techniques with great effect. Mayday is a sterling example of de Campi at her best.
The artwork in Mayday is superb. The line work and colours transport perfectly transport the reader back to the early 70s. Tony Parker and Blond. Parker and Blond’s artwork does a fantastic job of telling a story in its own right. For example, with five panels, Parker and Blond illustrate the loneliness and isolation of Soviet defector Comrade Yeresovky. Through the images, we learn that while he knows what he did was morally right, the cost is great. He may never see his family again. His inner turmoil is written all over the five panels with not a single word uttered.
Further, once the Soviets take their first swig of LSD-laced vodka the colours become a whole new character all their own. You might even feel like you are on an acid trip yourself. Please read responsibly Pulp Nation. I warned you.
Final Thoughts: Mayday #1
The team of de Campi, Parker, and Blond have put together a strong first issue of Mayday #1. The superb writing complemented by the amazing artwork culminate to tell a thrilling Cold War story. As a result, I imagine most people who pick up the first issue will not hesitate to put this whole series on their pull list. In fact, I would imagine, they made that decision before they even finished the first issue. I am sure they did so when they reached the cliffhanger at the end!
Mayday #2 will reach your favourite comic book store on December 14, 2016.
*Unless otherwise noted, all comics I (Bradley) review are provided by Freakshow Comics in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada*