Who are you. Are you a Doctor, a Lawyer, a Fry-cook? Are you more than what you do? Most of us, it seems, spend our lives trying to become something, or live up to the something we’ve become. I’m a husband, a father, a writer, a friend, which of those things define me and which do I define? I’ve enjoyed musings like those all my life, they can be very personal topics though, not many are comfortable talking about how important our identity is, how we see ourselves. This story examines that question of self, and what our own identity means to us.
In James Maddox’s Clown we meet Jared Bastian, a recently unemployed journalist whose fall on hard times and taken a job in a circus, as a clown. Seemed far-fetched to me as a premise but it works. The world Jared exists in is so very much like our own, the struggle to “the top” is long and there are many diversions and side roads. Acting on instinct Jared changes the course his life has been on but is it a course he wants to take?
I think we’ve all had things thrust upon us at times and thought, this isn’t what I wanted, most just muddle through. Some make grand gestures of accepting whatever befalls them, while others make just as big a deal of refusing to be brought down a path they didn’t choose. I’ve had both responses to unwanted (unexpected?) changes in my life, and regretted some of my reactions whether they were positive or negative to the change. It’s a perfect example of “to each his own” and Jared’s response to the shift in his world is understandable whether you find it brave, cowardly, or both. I think the story gives a chance to sit back and try to put ourselves in Jared’s shoes. I know my immediate reaction was visceral, and what would I have done in his shoes? Hmm good question.
A moment on the art if I may, Brandon has a great style, his characters feel real and their expressions convey emotion beautifully. He has a fine grasp of backgrounds and camera angles, though his perspective is sometimes a little flat. I can’t wait to see how his art evolves in his next projects.
Solid 4 out of 5, give this one a try!
Written by James Maddox
Art by Brandon Lauhon
Digital Release Date July 2 2014
Age Rating 15+ Only
Get it at Comixology: www.comixology.com/Clown/
Clown tells of former-journalist Jared Bastian who now makes his living as a clown in a roaming circus. When a group of revolutionaries attempt to spread their agenda during his performance, Jared puts a forceful stop to them and finds himself at the center of the Empire’s attention.