In light of the kickstarter for Bust Issue 3, it seems foolish for us not to go back and review the first two issues, so here is the review for Issue One.
The Book: Issue One tells the story of Jack, a master card dealer from Las Vegas. He’s a con-man whose sleight of hand has ruined many lives, but when a viral outbreak hits America, he is forced to flee the strip in search of a new home for his family.
The world slides quickly into chaos, and the family find themselves in Austin, Texas – which has been walled off thanks to the generosity of billionaire business magnate Eddie Scott. An almost Roman rule of class divide, barbarism and hypocrisy follow.
Jack eventually crosses the wrong people and finds himself forced to fight mutated freaks in the arena to pay back his debt and be with his family once more.
The Review: I’m a big fan of the post apocalypse genre and this is a good example of a story that focuses on a small aspect of the attempts of people to bring their lives back to something akin to an even keel. I’m also a fan of Dave Cook’s work and not one of his scripts have disappointed me. That puts him in good company, as, in terms of comic writers, that puts him in a group includes Gerry Finley-Day, Alan Hebden, Garth Ennis, Cyril Walker and Gilbert Lawford Dalton.
The story moves along at a steady pace and the story never seems rushed and each part builds on what has gone before. And it is a pleasure to find a writer that is not impressed by his own brilliance and just wants to tell a good story. The build up to the finale of the first issue steadily builds dynamic tension and while some might find the twist obvious, I thought it was a natural progression of the elements that had been put in place by Dave.
I am glad that I have gone back and looked at this again as, originally, I wasn’t over enthused by Chris O’Toole‘s art. Now that I have looked at it again, I can see where he has made massive improvements between Bust Issue One and Issue Three. I’ve also realised that it is only certain elements of his style that need a lot more work, because when you see how well he has done the faces for this pair of characters in the foreground, you can see needed that extra time to develop his art.
My review of Issue Two will be published soon.