By Marty Mulrooney
FOOTPRINTS is an independent comic book series written by Joey Esposito (the Comics Editor for IGN) with art from Jonathan Moore (FUBAR). An inventive twist on the noir genre, FOOTPRINTS stars Mr Foot, aka Bigfoot, as a world-weary detective trying to find out who killed his brother, Yeti, in a cryptozoological mystery that spans decades. Read on to find out AMO’s verdict and read FOOTPRINTS #1 absolutely free!
FOOTPRINTS features a wide and varied cast of mythological creatures, including Bigfoot (Mr Foot), Yeti (Bigfoot’s brother), the Jersey Devil (Mr Devil), the Loch Ness Monster (Nessie) and best of all Megalodon (aka Don, a huge freaking shark!) This oddball cast of familiar folklore figures look striking in stylised black-and-white, with the mash-up of hardboiled detective and Bigfoot in particular working so well, you immediately begin to wonder why it hasn’t been done before.
The storyline is gripping from the very beginning too, with Bigfoot receiving a letter from his brother, Yeti, who he hasn’t spoken to in years. Calling up Mr Devil (The Jersey Devil) to help him travel, the pair fly to the Arctic only to find Yeti dead, beheaded. The hardboiled voiceover provided by Mr Foot, displayed in square boxes lined like a detective’s notebook, nails the noir atmosphere perfectly: “I feel it as soon as I enter the place. The snow’s been tossed up. Someone’s been here that ain’t supposed to be.”
What follows is pretty much a gathering together of Mr Foot’s old gang. The writing is sharp, hinting that they were disbanded on less than ideal terms, their sudden reunion difficult to say the least. There are enough seeds sown here to keep the interest high for future issues, although the focus is mainly on introducing each of the different characters and setting the scene. At 23 pages (22 excluding the cover) the length feels just about right for an opening chapter, although I imagine many readers will feel slightly frustrated that they will have to wait for FOOTPRINTS #2 to continue onwards. This is most definitely a world that needs exploring further. It demands it. When all of the issues are completed, I can envision FOOTPRINTS making a fantastic graphic novel.
FOOTPRINTS #1 is a superb example of an independent comic book done right, passion bleeding from every page like a beheaded Yeti. Joey Esposito’s writing is accomplished and tight, imbuing each character with a personality that fits like a glove. Jonathan Moore’s artwork is the perfect compliment to Esposito’s story, offering dark, detailed and stylised glimpses into an alternate reality that smashes together fantastical creatures with noir sentiments. My only complaint is the short length of this opening issue, which in turns keeps many of the promised plot developments unresolved. Regardless, I am sincerely looking forward to revisiting this world in FOOTPRINTS #2!
9 OUT OF 10
FOOTPRINTS was recently funded on Kickstarter.com. If you enjoyed reading FOOTPRINTS #1 and AMO’s review, you can still back this project with as little as a $1 pledge here until the 6th June 2011.