Wedding days are supposed to be unforgettable, however this one just got even more memorable when a group of gun wielding Evilses interrupt the nuptials in Going to The Chapel a new high concept screwball crime caper from the team at Action Lab.
Publisher: Action Lab/Danger Zone
Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Gavin Guidry, Liz Kramer (Colours), Ariana Maher (Letters)
Price: £5.99 from ComiXology
Emily is wealthy heiress who is getting married to handsome architect Jesse. However, just at the key moment in their big day, in walk a group of robbers dressed as Elvis’ who plan to steal her priceless jewellery. Among their number is Emily’s ex Tom, who still carries a torch for her.
What follows on from this brilliant set up is a rip-roaringly enjoyable heist and kidnap story mixed in with a screwball romantic comedy! It’s steeped in the kind of crime movie short hand that we love and could one day make an excellent movie. The Elvises reminded us of the dead presidents in Point Break, while the whole tone of it has the energy and rich supporting cast of a Coen Brothers movie like Raising Arizona or Blood Simple. It also reminded us a lot of the incredible 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, which itself has that Coen Brothers quirky crime thriller vibe to it.
Writer David Pepose manages to build a brilliant ensemble story, that mixes familiar tropes with unexpected twists and turns. It’s brilliantly paced, as the action of heist is interwoven with flashes back and forth to expand the characters and their motivations, giving the whole thing depth and purpose. Tom is cast as the misunderstood ex who is looking for one more chance at love, but does it in a very unlikely way. While Emily is anything but the push-over, beautiful bride that might usually inhabit this kind of story. She has plenty of sass and attitude, but still remains sympathetic and believable, meanwhile the resolution of the story is definitely not what you expect (but makes total sense!).
It is also fleshed out with some super supporting characters like the overbearing father of the bride or the fearless grandma who tries to take on the robbers at their own game. There are also some really nice 21st century touches, such as the guests Instagramming the cops to try and get them out as they don’t have a cell signal, but do have data!
Visually it looks very slick. With artist Gavin Guidry giving it a very polished, but quite classic feel to it. It has that smart simplicity of Chip Zdarsky’s work in Sex Criminals or Eric Zawadski in Headspace and his artwork manages to be strong, but without overpowering the story with overly flashy visuals or layouts. It sounds like we are damning him with faint praise here, however there is a real art to doing art like this and Guidry manages it really well. He is helped by the colours from Liz Kramer who gives the whole thing a hot and dirty colour scheme that perfectly matches the locale.
We have to be honest at this point, and confess we have often steered clear of Action Lab’s Danger Zone titles as a result of them releasing a few too many generic gore heavy horror titles. However if this is the direction they are planning to head in, then we could well be keeping out eyes open for more. This is a fantastically enjoyable read that deserves to be enjoyed by a wider audience. Like a great movie or a great Netflix series this is a story which is best consumed in a single sitting, and in the end you will be rewarded with more than a stale piece of cake and a pocket full of confetti!