Preview: Fade From Blue #1

Next week, Second 2 Some Studios offers up something a little more long-lasting than Free Comics Day. Granted, you have to pay $1 upfront, but if you enjoy the first issue of Fade From Blue, the rest of the run will only cost you $1.50 per issue.

Compare that to the big four companies giving away books this week. All of those offerings are meant to hook you into a series that costs at least $2.25 per issue. Granted, they're cool series, but it hardly seems fair. Kudos to Second 2 Some for breaking the price point down in the long run.

But is the book worth the investment of time and money?

If nothing else, Fade From Blue is a high concept waiting for a movie development deal. And that's not a bad thing. The story of four half-sisters (different mothers, same father) who found each other after their mothers died, the first issue introduces each character cleverly and allows them spotlight time without slowing down the action. In fact, the introductions appear to be part of the action.

Freelance magazine relationship writer Christa frames the story. As she distractedly sits in a phone conference with a clueless editor (clearly, no editorializing on the part of writer Myatt Murphy, not at all), we see how each of her pitches to the magazine reflects her sisters.

  • Are You Intimidating To Men? leads into the adventures of Marit, one tough but feminine badass cop. Trying to bring down local mob guys, it seems likely that her actions on the job will be bringing tension into the sisters' home.

  • How To Pick Your Poison: A Guide of All Girlie Drinks And How They Shout Volumes About Who You Really Are introduces us to Iya, bartender and former nude model, a woman far brighter than anyone around her wants her to be. What we actually see of her leaves her the most undeveloped, as she walks away from her job. It's clearer who she was than who she is.

  • Tapping Into Your Eternal Optimist. That optimist would be Elisa, vivacious, arty and fun, but clueless to the guy who doesn't have the courage to try to be more than just friends. Of all the sisters, her situation seems the most real, though she herself might come across a little idealized.

    How does it all twine together? Aside from the sisters having found each other, a great mystery surrounds their missing father. Murphy drops hints that there are deep shadows of crime there, possibly driving Marit to her profession. And someone is still looking for the patriarch, likely someone dangerous.

    Though it borrows elements from Sex And The City, that seems more a product of the "write what you know" school. Being a magazine writer by day, Murphy clearly has friends like Christa (friends who will also contribute Christa's articles each month as a bonus feature - our preview copy didn't include a sample). And Murphy also has done a lot of work on law enforcement, so the "men's adventure" angle certainly is in his blood, even if it's from the point of view of a woman.

    The artwork by Scott Dalrymple appears more focused and assured than in his previous back-up feature, Far From Saints. While it has a slight cartoony edge to it, it's consistent and believable, with some clever composition. Black and white suits Dalrymple, though I'd really like to see his work in color sometime. Eventually, right?

    Though it may not be strictly Second 2 Some's intent, Fade From Blue could be a book that attracts women to reading comics. Better, it accomplishes that without alienating male readers, striking a better balance between the two than their previous title Two Over Ten did. Though I enjoyed that book, its female lead seemed more a fantasy girl than anyone in Fade From Blue. If you catch this book on the stands, give it a try. And if you can't find it, head over to their site to get ordering information. Tell them Derek sent you.

    Derek McCaw

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