The bloody, vile and hilarious all come together to make a new series from Oni. The Auteur is a hyper-violent comedy about a movie producer who may or may not be just a little incredibly psychotic. It’s definitely unlike anything you’ve ever known, but is it good?
The Auteur #1 (Oni Press)
The comic starts off with our main character, Nathan T. Rex swimming around “idea verse”, looking for some inspiration. Inspiration hits him as an axe in the forehead. Swung by Abraham Lincoln. We see him wake in a sweat, pulling a needle out of his forehead to stop the injection of more green goo, when he is handed a cup of joe with snake venom mixed in. This comic is seriously tripping.
From there we see Nathan, (a disgusting and lowly human being, but still an intriguing protagonist) go on a rampage after his latest movie flops big time, take control of the production of his next film (even though he is merely a producer) and then visit idea space again at a strip club. The story flows perfectly, despite a few gaps in chronology. The comic is incredibly engaging and satisfyingly crazy while still not going to the point where it doesn’t make sense.
The Auteur #1 is also mad funny. Literally. From Nathan’s mad rampage into a rich old director’s house demanding to know the greatest movie title of all time to Nathan’s own direction of his new film President’s Day, this comic made me laugh. It has a disgusting sense of humor, rank with dick jokes and misogynistic comments but also exposes some truths about some actual real life topics in a clever way. The scene in which Nathan took over the movie from the director was especially funny to me; it does say something about producers and what role they play in the creation of a movie. Is it really all that necessary to have a producer when you have a more than able director? Is it fair to judge a producer based on their movies when all they do is tell the director how much they loved the film?
What would a blood soaked, gore filled comic be without amazing visuals to back the writing up? James Callahan brings a detailed yet comical style to the table and draws a mean exploding body. From the precision of the small lines and details in the idea space to the sophisticated uses of reds and blues to show the studio set, Callahan makes this book come alive. He proves that he can make realistic drawings still fun by doing such a fine job of the lunch scene, but then also shows us his prowess in crazy psychedelics in the final pages. This is clearly a very well rounded artist very well suited to this awesome script.
I am actively excited for the next issue of The Auteur. It’s an incredibly fun comic and I just want more. I have no idea how the story will continue and grows more grotesque, but I’ll be eagerly awaiting each installment.