Winter City #1 (2011)

Sex :
Violence :
Editor Patrick Purcell
Publisher Winter City Productions Pty. Ltd.
Writers Patrick Purcell, Carl Purcell
Art and Colours Pablo Verdugo Munoz, David Aravena Riquelme
Cover Pablo Verdugo Munoz
Genre Psycho


“But every passing day this city moves closer to it's Armagedon” - Detective Daniels

In Winter City a spate of knifings have been attributed to gang warfare, though Detective Daniels believes it's simply indicative of the coming apocalypse. When a local business leader and philanthropist, Alan McLean, is found murdered in his home Detective Daniels and his partner Detective Harvey are given the case as the Mayor's office are expected to become involved and quick answers are wanted.

The only witness the Detectives have is Marion Newton, who claims the Grim Reaper himself murdered McLean. Clearly the case isn't going to resolve itself any time soon or without additional details emerging to help profile the killer. In a flashback we learn that Sam Winters was abandoned by his mother when he was seven, being left in the tender care of his Uncle Norman who prefers to be known as Sir. No awards for guessing who Sam Winters grows up to be.

Issue one of Winter City kicks off a twelve comic cycle that already promises to be fairly engrossing. Please note here I'm reviewing from an online copy of the issue and not the final print version that is currently unavailable. What we do get is a U.S size comic in full colour with a single story arc being introduced over the 23 odd pages. I would note however early days so final print version may vary, I'll get back to you on that one.

For those of us that like a little Psycho killer in our diet Winter City is delivering. We have a deranged nutter with a screwed up background who thinks he is the Grim Reaper, who dresses like the Grim Reaper, and who will no doubt have his own agenda and list of victims. Arrayed against our antagonist are two world weary Cops who are going to have to get down into the trenches to get the job done. Having read the synopsis of the story arcs, yes I deserve to be taken out and whipped, I'm actually grooving to the whole thing. While there might be a touch of the Andrew Kevin Walker Se7en (1995) going down, it's how you approach things that make all the difference. I'm picking victim one to be the gluten end of the deadly sins, see included panel, and can't wait to see how the rest of the sins are going to be converted into dripping red mayhem. Our resident Psycho isn't bothered with artistry when it comes to extracting his pound of flesh from society, a blade will do the job just as well. Two thumbs up to the Writers for running with the concept without overly concerning themselves with weird little murder staging details. Those are only really of interest in movies and the like, not on the printed pages. Hey personal opinion, go write your own review if you disagree.

What's real clever about the writing here, and something a few psycho outings have alluded to recently, Dexter immediately comes to mind, is that while the killer might have a few roos bounding around in the top paddock, he is actually ridding society of the odd deviant that has managed to build a nest in it's midst. Will our Psycho become a vigilante with public support or will he simply allow his dark passenger, sorry borrowing from Dexter here again, to fully emerge? Guess we'll have to wait and see and take it one issue at a time.

About all we need worry about is Issue one of Winter City sets up the antagonist, the Cops tasked with bringing him down, and the modus operandi the antagonist uses. With flashbacks promising to flesh out the Psycho we could be onto something very special here. Top marks for the story thus far, yes I admit it I'm engrossed in the overall plot arc already.

The artwork is superb throughout issue one, with well defined panels, an easy to read script, and an attention to detail. While some of the panels maybe slightly busy, there's nothing that will take you out of the comic. It looks great, gets the story across, and shows a keen eye. Top marks for the artwork and the mixture of comic styles to keep things interesting. Sorry was unable to determine a comparison from the first issue to something you may have read, though I guess if push came to shove,and just between you and me, a sort of DC Comics feeling was going down. Don't hold me to that, Winter City is pure originality in the artwork, with perhaps a tad of The Dark Knight in the mix. Whatever the comparison it's rich artwork that I think will meet with approval from the general reader.

Normally I would talk about the cover, but hey no print version, so not much to say. Judging by the electronic one, remember may change when the print edition arrives, artist Pablo Verdugo Munoz has gone with a good solid symbolic orientated approach. There's only so much you can do with the cover of a first issue and Munoz takes it as far as he can, delivering a striking image that had me nodding my head in approval.

So I had a fun-time with the comic and got enough from the first issue to consign myself to having to review all twelve instalments as they become available. I'm always up for a Psycho story, as long as the Psycho brings something new to the table. With Winter City we might just be seeing something magic going down, full recommendation, you don't want to miss this bad boy.

Issue one is available to read online right about here, so there's no excuse to not get your feet wet with the comic. Yes I know we have readers with an aversion to anything electronic, why are you on the web? - but you'll have to hold your horses as the printed edition is not yet available. Patrick Purcell, bit of name dropping there, can tell me the comic will be available in a printed format mid April for the outstandingly good value of $4.50 per copy plus P&H, and can be ordered direct from the Winter City website. Cool bananas is what I say, consider one order already made. Oh and before I forget Pat also pointed out versions will be available for the iPad and other tablets in due course.

ScaryMinds Rates this read as ...

  Sensational start to what promises to be a very solid graphic novel!