And Then I Read: THE DEVIL’S HANDSHAKE

© Red Circle Productions.

This is one of those movie proposal comics. You know, a young and upcoming actor/director creates a concept for an action film and develops it as a comic first to test the waters and perhaps show prospective studios what he has in mind. In this case it’s Ryan Schifrin, whose work I’m not familiar with, and he’s wisely teamed with co-writer Larry Hama, a comics and theater veteran. Larry was kind enough to give me a copy in San Diego, and I’ve read it and think it’s pretty good.

There are two main characters, sort of action buddies: Alaric Moebius and Basil Fox. Moebius seems to be the part Schifrin has in mind for himself, if I’m reading things correctly, and no doubt an actor friend for the other role. The story begins with them tied to tree trunks and about to be thrown into a volcano. It’s very much an Indiana Jones type of story. The banter between the two is pretty good, though Moebius’ music-hall British accent is not very convincing. Fox seems to be American, though he works as a Buckingham Palace guard when not adventuring, a detail which is not explained. As the plot thickens, the pair escape from the volcano, but miss out on the treasure item they were after, and soon end up following it to Libya for more adventures very much in the Indiana Jones mold. It’s light-hearted fun and not a bad read.

The art by Adam Archer and Lizzy John appears to begin as linework, then is heavily colored in a painted style for a result that works well. There are a few odd faces and poses here and there, but overall it looks good and draws you into the world of the story successfully.

A little more explanation of the back story might have made this work better, but it’s not bad, and mildly recommended.

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