I’ve known of Amy Chu’s work for years, she’s written not only for Vertigo/DC and most recently announced work with Valiant, her anthology series “Girls Night Out” has been a fan and creator favorite. But oddly I have never actually reviewed one of her comics, so this year at Special Edition I made a point of dropping by her table and picking up a few books. She was as always, very cool, very approachable. I picked up Saving Abby and The VIP Room.
First up Saving Abby!
This printing features collected stories originally featured in Girls Night Out 1 – 3. Since I haven’t as yet had the pleasure of reading the series I had no experience with Abby’s world. The blurb on the back sets the scene “100 years from now, the Borough Wars reduced Manhattan to a dangerous slum and the rich fled to New Jersey. A taxi driver named D is tasked with rescuing a young hostage from the dangerous bowels of Grand Central Station.” I am an old sci-fi geek so this called to mind Escape From New York, and the phrasing brought back that opening narration of Thundarr. I was suitably impressed!
The story isn’t as simple as it sounds, D has a lot more to her than meets the eye and Amy doles out the details at a good pace. The character of (new?) New York is also revealed well, layers of just how messed up a world we’re seeing are peeled back one by one. When the twist comes, early in the story, it’s a fun one and rather than making the book less serious actually makes the action more poignant. This city, this world is a rough place and the toughest people are needed for even seemingly unimportant tasks. Anderson Cabral’s art walks the line between detail and simplicity beautifully. Where some textures are almost devoid of detail, Abby’s pants in the image shown, the same panel will have awesome intricacies, like the wall and mega-rat’s tails. I thoroughly enjoyed Saving Abby and hope there are more adventures in store.
My other purchase The VIP Room was an extremely different book. A Horror Mystery it definitely reminded me of why I loved certain Twilight Zone episodes. Three strangers are trapped in a room, none know each other, none know how they came to be there.
The story unfolds as the trio start to converse and reveal clues to their identities. We never know the true fate of two of the rooms “guests” but the one resolution we see is quite chilling, appropriately so. Eagle award-winning illustrator Silvio dB handles the art with a haunting bleakness that sets the tone perfectly. Anderson Cabral’s blue palate with occasional red accents conveys a coldness to the story perfectly suited to the subject.