Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Johnnie Christmas
Pisces #1 feels like it’s the beginning of something big. The latest series from Kurtis J. Wiebe (Writer of the fantastic Rat Queens) and Johnnie Christmas (Artist of Sheltered) seems to be full of layers that will probably unravel at a slow pace. This series is off to an interesting start full of intrigue and mystery.
According to the creative team, Pisces is a psychological horror series. While it’s certainly possible to see the story going in that direction, right now everything is a slow burn. The series focuses on the protagonist, Dillon Carpenter, a former pilot in the Vietnam War. Carpenter appears to be in a rough patch right now following the war, as he struggles with apparent issues ranging from the family he has failed, to the trauma suffered from a brutal and horrifying experience in Vietnam. The character isn’t exactly likable at the moment, but it’s also clear that he is suffering and full of pain. Wiebe does a fantastic job at creating great characters that are full of flaws and motivations.
The story tends to hop around, going from his past in Vietnam, to the apparent struggles following the war with his family, and what is assumed to be the present somewhere in space. The pacing isn’t at all affected poorly by the shifts, as events in all these settings seem to almost overlap and blend together. This method of storytelling allows the reader to really get into Carpenter’s head and get an idea of the trauma the character has gone through and how it haunts him today. While the issue isn’t too plot heavy and doesn’t exactly do much to let the reader know what’s coming up, it still does a very effective job at introducing readers to a character that they will surely get to know well soon.
Johnnie Christmas’ pencils go along with the tone of the book perfectly. Every sequence and setting is carefully drawn with great detail. Every scene that would generally be hard to swallow is made much more uncomfortable with the powerful art present. Some panels seem to be a little inconsistent with character expressions, but is mostly very effective and crafted well.