Snapshot #1 (of 4)
Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Jock
Letters by Clem Robbins
Review by Joey Braccino
Snapshot is exactly the sort of mind-bending, risk-taking comic book that only Image can put out. Writer Andy Diggle and artist Jock exercise a suspenseful minimalism as they push hapless comic-shop clerk Jake Dobson further and further down an intriguing rabbit hole of murder, anti-murder, spooks, silencers, and geek elitism.
Did that make sense? Perhaps. But if that sentence hurt your brain, then this comic will most likely blow it right out of your head (figuratively and literally).
The book starts with a fairly run-of-the-mill plot device: Jake finds a phone in the park with photos on it that he probably shouldn’t see. From there, however, Diggle throws enough twists and turns into the story that, by issue’s end, your eyes are crooked and your understanding of the universe is warped. Seriously. The final pages of this book are violent and absurd at the same time. I’m eagerly anticipating issue #2 after the cliffhanger here.
And yet, for the first ½ of the issue, Diggle takes the time to have Jake and his fanboy friend Steve crack jokes in the comic shop. It’s a bizarre sequence, especially considering the gruesomely violent parallel story, but it speaks to Diggle’s creator-owned freedom to structure the narrative, present his characters, and explore the themes in whatever way he sees fit.
Jock’s art is perfect for this story. As mentioned previously, Jock’s minimalist style, coupled with the black-and-white aesthetic, perfectly matches the gritty realism of Diggle’s script. The naturalism is deceptively simple, especially when events take a turn for the brutal in the last half of the issue.
Buy it. Now, Snapshot technically has already been published across the pond in Judge Dredd: Magazine in short 10-page chunks, but Image has once again caught on to a promising creator-owned mini-series and taken the risk to put it out to a mass audience here in the States. Regardless of whether you’ve read it before or not, Andy Diggle and Jock’s Snapshot is one complex comic deserving of multiple looks. And when I say “deserving,” I mean “will probably need,” because it’s just so damn insane. Check it.