Television has always been considered the ultimate form of voyeurism, but no more so than today with the advent of so many reality shows. Therefore, it stands to reason that comics would eventually start using this ‘genre’ as inspiration for its stories. This week, having previously looked at a couple of its single issues, we take a look at the trade for the Show, currently in the midst of its kickstarter campaign. Can the completed series draw in the audiences or will it cause readers to change the channel?
Publisher: Jed McPherson
Writer: Jed McPherson
Artist: Joseph Velasquez (art, part 1), Robert Ahmad (art, parts 2-4), F.P. Sioc Jr (Colours)
Price: Currently funding on Kickstarter
The Show follows Johnny Teevee, a prisoner in an unknown location as he faces near constant isolation, save for the visits of ‘Nursey’ with his meals. However, little does Johnny realise that his every waking moment is actually part of a reality tv show, his struggles and suffering all being broadcast for the entertainment of millions. But when Johnny’s solitary routine is interrupted with the arrival of an innocent teddy bear, it begins a chain reaction of events which neither Johnny nor his ‘captors’ could ever have scripted for on their show.
Jed McPherson has created a seriously enthralling story within The Show, coming across as addictive as it was disturbing in its telling. McPherson has obviously put a great deal of thought into the overall plot as the pace of The Show continues to ramp up, with unexpected twists appearing throughout to throw you just when you think you know what is happening. McPherson has also put a great deal of thought into the package of the trade itself with almost an issue’s worth of additional content worthy of a DVD release (or whatever home entertainment The Show would be released on).
That said, the Show isn’t without its flaws as there are a few notable plot holes within the story as well as the characters all having bare bones depth. However, these are exceedingly minor when looking at the Show as both an entertaining story and also an intriguing commentary on both society and reality TV.
Meanwhile, both artists Joseph Velasquez and Robert Ahmad produce fantastic turns on their respective issues of this series with both giving the story a rather outlandish, almost surreal look. This tone is enhanced by F.P. Soic Jr’s vibrant colours which also help in bringing together both artists very different styles to give the impression that they are one. Of course, this isn’t perfect as both still appear different, however, the unfortunate circumstances which necessitated the change does feel fortuitous as Velasquez’ first issue feels uncomfortably brutal in its voyeurism while Ahmad’s allows for a more horror-esque tone just when the story turns that way.
When it comes to The Show, the creative team of McPherson, Velasquez, Ahmad and Soic Jr have created gripping, yet uncomfortably brutal story with stunning visuals to match. While the series does have a few niggles which prevent it from being perfect, it doesn’t change the fact that this title will have you hooked from the very beginning.