COMIC REVIEW: Grim Leaper #1

Image’s Grim Leaper (written by Kurtis Wiebe, art by Aluisio C. Santos) on paper sounds pretty fun. You have a guy whose cursed to die and keeps coming back to life in someone elses body, an absolute douche, you watch as he tries and fails to pick up women no matter what he looks like, until one day he meets someone else who is in the same bizarre situation and she turns out to be the girl of his dreams.

Admittedly this could be a hook to the worst romcom you’ve ever heard but in comics form, provided it is done with a good slab of humour, it could be an entertaining read.

Unfortunately, Grim Leaper struggles with itself. Its humour often misses the mark, the fantastical elements don’t make much sense, and the story – overly dependent on narrative captions – takes ages to get moving and by the point that it does (the final 6 pages) you’ve largely lost interest. The main character comes across as a cardboard cut out 15-year-old and is incredibly hard to like or laugh with…or at.

The art is the far stronger element in the comic but that often loses itself. While the colours add a quirky vibrancy to this off-kilter tale about love, death, and reincarnation, the pencils at times just look wrong. There are moments when the characters start looking like Muppet caricatures while you’re on the wrong kind of psychedelics. There is one part of the comic where a character suddenly has a wooden look and abnormally large eyes for absolutely no reason that clearly looks like a rushed pencilling mistake.

The backup strip (by Joey Esposito and Jeff McComsey) doesn’t help the comic very much. A romance tale to give you “more bang for your buck” is so devoid of bang that you can distinctly detect a sucking motion of all fun (and your will to live) right out the window. The story is so ham-fisted with its attempts at irony and poking fun at old comicbook tropes that it is just downright awful to read and makes you wonder why it was even put in at all. For 6 pages it felt infinitely longer, for all the wrong reasons.

Grim Leaper is a curious tale but based on this first issue it falls really short of the mark and makes me partially dread issue 2. Here’s hoping, now that the actual story has started, the comic will actually go somewhere.

Rating: 1/5
: Dean Simons

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