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Magpie #1
Written by: Andrez Bergen
Art by: Frantz Kantor

Review by Matt Wyrwas

magpie_pageIn the world of sequential art, it is sometimes easy to just see the wonderful titles that flow from the minds of creators in the US, Japan, and even the UK, and forget that the world of comics truly is a “nation” without borders.

A perfect example of this is “Magpie” a feature in the Australian magazine Oi Oi Oi! The story is written and edited by Andrez Bergen with art by Frantz Kantor. Taking cues from the classic The Spirit by legend Will Eisner, Magpie offers up a hero that is far from perfect-and that is part of the fun.

The first story takes place over 8 pages (a format that will continue in subsequent installments) launching our hero 3D Man on his maiden voyage so to speak. And yes-for those of you out there calling out the creators for using an established codename, that is addressed in a funny interview between 3D Man and a television reporter.

The pace of the story may be difficult for some. A lot happens over the 8 pages, so much so that at teams you really feel like you are catching the story midway through. Our main character goes from hero, to joke fodder, to disgraced hero, and finally back to hero with a new a identity. That kind of journey could overwhelm a reader, but Bergen’s use of humor helps sell it. Readers will find it hard to not feel sorry for the hero. There is a “Tick”esque quality to the story that is welcome change from what most of the large publishers are putting out.

Kantor’s art is truly the perfect partner to such a wild ride. There’s certainly a cartoonish/computer-generated vibe that is reminiscent of Pixar’s The Incredibles and the 90’s show ReBoot, but that works for a story that takes the idea of a hero and spins it on its head. A special mention must be made of the amazing facial expressions Kantor provides to all the characters. Emotions are so clear, the reader never has to stare at a panel trying to guess what is going on. 3D Man’s dejected looks at several spots got a good chuckle from me.

Verdict
Buy it! If you like stories that showcase humor along with action, Magpie is something you should check out. The setup up is great but I am really curious as to how we got to the start of our story. I’m along for wherever Bergen and Kantor want to take us!

Magpie will be available on January 31st, 2016 in the pages of Australian national comic magazine Oi Oi Oi!

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