Writer: Mike W. Lunsford
Artist: Ben Shaw
Publisher: Thoroughly Busted Studios
Do you like the feeling of noir? Do you like private investigators that are complete jerks? Do you like demons and hell spawn? Then picking up Ethan Stone #1 is most definitely on your to do list!
From the creative minds of artist Ben Shaw and writer Mike Lunsford, Ethan Stone P.I. is a mixture of everything that is right in the world. With the feel of an old black and white detective movie, to a buddy comedy, to a character that could give John Constantine a run for his money, this was a book where I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
Starting with the opening dialogue, which is brilliantly written by Lunsford, you will realize that Stone is a jerk that you hate to love. The kind of person that you wish you could punch in the mouth, but you don’t because you want to know what he is going to say next. Combine him with his partner, who happens to be a Catholic priest, and you have a recipe for the best banter I have read in quite some time.
The two are fittingly paired together as they are sent to investigate the house of one Mrs. Winterhaven who has a slight, how should I put this, demon problem? That might be an understatement as it is more like a full infestation once the two paranormal heroes arrive on the scene, and not to give away the story, but what follows next is a stunningly beautiful barrage of images that really shows what a talented artist Shaw is.
From the designs of the characters to the shading and shadows, Shaw’s art is truly a masterpiece and one of the best black and white mediums I have seen since James O’Barr and “The Crow”. Seeing as this is only the first issue I am sure we are going to see an evolution to the characters interpretations and I am looking forward to seeing Shaw’s progression as he continues to illustrate these characters that he seems to really care for. I would also be ashamed of myself if I didn’t mention Shaw’s superb renditions of the demonic entities that are terrorizing Mrs. Winterhaven. Spectacular visuals that you honestly could’ve seen in an episode of Buffy or Angel, they are neither cookie cutter or lazy, they are truly a sight to behold. Although one of them did remind me of a little bit of the key master and gate keeper from Ghostbusters, which I admit, really made me want to study every inch of the creature.
However the characters are nothing without their dialogue. Lunsford’s writing is truly something to behold. From the first sentence of the issue as I was reading it I was hearing Ethan Stone with James Cagney’s voice (for those unfamiliar with Mr. Cagney’s work go YouTube it). With hints of Sherlock Holmes and witty interactions with the other characters especially Father Seth, Lunsford is truly someone who can bring out the best and worst of the characters as he sees fit. Smart, funny and clever Lunsford is a writer whom I can’t wait to read more of.
In conclusion, Ethan Stone P.I. is a fresh and new idea that is available to those who are tiring of the same old thing from the mainstream comic publishers. Make sure you pick up a copy of Ethan Stone P.I. now so you are ready for issue #2 coming soon from the brilliant minds of Shaw and Lunsford.
5 out of 5 nerds