A comic called Postal might make you think the USPS has finally gotten their act together and made the killer delivery-themed comic book we’ve all been waiting for. You’d be wrong. In fact it has nothing to do with the Post Office, but it does have something to do with a Post Office worker…of sorts. The drama runs deep in this series though and it has little to do with mail, but is it good?
Postal #1 (Top Cow Productions)
Mark is the main character of this book and he has Asperger’s, which immediately makes the read genuinely unique from 99% of the books on the shelves. I’m not expert in the syndrome, but the protagonist’s characteristics seem to be driven around them. This gives the reader a unique view on the small town it’s set in because we’re inside his head and see his view of things. Luckily he’s a reliable narrator as he only wants to do the right thing. A hard thing to do in a town that’s very good at doing the wrong things.
What is time, really?
Writers Bryan Hill and Matt Hawkins have a very interesting premise going on in this series which becomes all the more interesting considering the protagonist. Set in Wyoming, the town is made up of fugitive criminals with new identities, but to be a member they must never commit a crime again. And then somebody goes and gets murdered. Great. The mayor also happens to be Mark’s mother. Mark adds a layer to everything due to his unique perspective.
Mark is not only unique due to Asperger’s, but he also reads everyone’s mail—at least the mail that gets torn and tattered. It’s his job to transcribe the unsendable letters. That might mean he knows things, but is too innocent to tell others. Because Mark is treated as if he’s a child, he’s afraid to say what he’s thinking as it gets him in trouble. This will most assuredly pay dividends when the plot thickens later in the series.
Red mud or something more vile?!
Doing the right thing, he tells his mother of a meth lab and the justice his town brings down is harsh and absolute. The story is compelling because of this vacuum the writers have created of criminals who are trying to live on the straight and narrow and enact justice the only way they know how. The main character, in all his unfeeling and lack of empathy is a compelling character to be following along on this violent course. They say psychopaths lack empathy and so often this is a feature of the villain. Yet the hero the writers have written has that very trait and he’s approaching everything just trying to do the right thing. Interesting stuff.
The art by Isaac Goodhart gets the job done, but it’s nothing to blow you away by any means. There are a few panels that are a bit awkward and crude in their delivery (specifically when Mark runs away from the meth people) and some of the angles are rather odd. That said, the story is laid out well with nice layouts to convey the darkness, strength or doubt of the characters. His strong suit is the talking head moments. He’s also got a way with facial expressions that are clean and understandable. I found the color choices to work for the most part with a drab sort of feel to the proceedings.
Something tells me that number is going down.
Is It Good?
A very strong protagonist drives a premise that holds a lot of potential in what is turning out to be an addictive mystery.