The Other Side of the Page: Books and Comics
Comic Review: Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean #1
I have been waiting for this issue for some time now. The writer Chris Schweizer is a buddy of mine. Well over a year ago, he told me to keep it a secret that he was working on a Pirates of the Caribbean comic. Now published under the small company Joe Books, who has the Disney Princess title I’ve covered before, I can finally share how great Pirates is!
… For the most part.
Joe Flood’s art actually confused me when I first saw it in Previews. Not because it’s bad, but because it’s so similar to Schweizer’s art style. See, our writer is a comic artist too, and I’ve followed his work for years. I thought he was writing and illustrating the book. Chris joked with me at Dragon Con this year (while drawing me a fabulous commission of Will Scarlet from Once Upon A Time) that it wasn’t a conscious choice that Flood’s style is similar. It lucked out that way. This could be good news if Joe ever got sick! Chris could fill in to help out.
Let’s get to the actual book.
Flood’s art is so expressive that you could follow along without actual dialogue. Something I always love seeing in a comic is different body types and races represented. Flood takes care with each of these characters both old and new. Marissa Louise’s coloring helps it all pop. I wish there was more tone represented in the coloring. When a specific character is killed, the color is still bright with the rest of the comic. I wanted that moment to be more somber. Though, I understand this is an all ages comic, so I don’t mind too much.
It took me a few pages to get into the pacing of the dialogue. It’s written in that great pirate lingo, but my reader ear didn’t adjust right away. I know Jack Sparrow is a mouthy guy, but there were a few panels where it got a little bit too wordy. As I adjusted more to the dialect of the various characters, I didn’t mind as much towards the end. Chris does a great job capturing Johnny Depp’s voice and pace as Jack Sparrow. I believe when more of the recurring cast make appearances in future issues, you’ll be able to hear their voice as well.
Now I’m waiting for Pintel and Ragetti to show up, but I have a special place in my heart for Lee Arenberg.
The final thing I loved about this title was that Joe Books didn’t use the last third of the book to promote another comic. This was a huge criticism when I reviewed Disney Princess. It’s still a point of contention for me when I buy Princess. I don’t want to give a third of my money to something I’m not going to buy! That’s why I appreciate Pirates. It reads like an Image Comics book with little advertisements. In fact, this issue only had one on the last page. What a breath of fresh air to get a full story for my money’s worth. I hope future Pirates issues continue this, and Joe Books stops that nonsense in Princess.
Overall, this is a fantastic first issue of Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s not perfect, but any fan of the movie franchise will enjoy these new tales for Jack Sparrow.
Sorry! CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow!
I gave Pirates of the Caribbean #1 8 out of 10!