Spy Seal #1
Story/Art/Cover by Rich Tommaso
Anthropomorphic animal espionage. The concept in itself is a lot of fun. The plot is pretty straight forward. Unemployed seal in a Turtleneck goes to art show with bird friend. Evil Russian animals attempt an assassination. It is thwarted by the seal.
The backstory for this comic is that Mr. Tommaso came up with Spy Seal when he was 13. He released some images for the character on the internet last fall, and the idea went viral. Hollywood already started to call for the movie rights, and the publishers bid for the series. Image won.
The book’s plot is very by the numbers. The writing is pretty forgettable overall. No shocking twists or betrayals. The dialogue is not particularly thought provoking, either. There is no real humor to the story, other than the general cuteness of the concept and the characters are one dimensional. I didn’t even like the seal, and he belongs to arguably the cutest race of animals on earth. His character takes average to new heights; I am guessing that the writer didn’t catch the part where the average Joe is supposed to still be unique in his own way , even if he and the world do not appreciate it.
The one good thing about this comic is that its art is fun and hip. It is focused on crisp clean lines and even shading. The style might become dull with most artists, but Rich draws such unique subjects (I.e. an art exhibit showcasing see through animals; see above) that I still wanted to go through the whole book just to take it in.
Verdict: Pass. While the art and concept is fun, the story itself is a drag. There is nothing in the story worth revisiting a month from now. If there was someone else doing story, and Rich Tomasso was kept to art, this book might have been a gem. Rich’s dialogue and characters are too dull for a book that is a cross of James Bond and Zootopia.