A realistic, scary premise with surreal art.
Social media is the new normal. Everyone has some form of connection to the world through technology, but with this great ability comes the concern for privacy and safety. Nash Huang is a popular TV host personal assistant and a prominent figure within the online community. Her exploits are everyone’s business and she’s attached to her phone but when a new product emerges her privacy becomes even more non-existent. Is it good?
The premise here is just scary. The actual story is almost believable and between trolling and cyber stalking it gave me a terrible feeling. The new technology being introduced is an augmented reality contact lens from what I gather. So you basically put them on and you can act out or be part of a fantasy scenario. The story starts with Nash trying these out for her boss, Jad Davies, and having a pretty vivid encounter with a murder scene. This is all being broadcast on Davies’ talk show. I think the contacts are going to come into play a lot with the story itself but they’re not really brought up again in this issue.
Jacob Semahn does a great job following Nash around as she basically does everything a contemporary 20-something does every day. We watch her in her relationship, get donuts and dry cleaning, and relaxing at a bar with some friends. It’s written from an outside view but we get a narrative from Nash too, which really helps set up her personality — Moo Shu is both fun to say, and I agree with her. The other characters are less involved but you get a basic idea of the hierarchy throughout the issue. Without giving too much away, her social media involvement gets a bit of a hack that puts her in what looks to be a serious dilemma at work — doesn’t look good.
I’m liking the artistic style Jorge Corona chose for this story. It’s bright and fun with much exaggerated features. The colors pop off the page but also add a grotesque look that adds to the serious nature of the actual storyline. I would almost say the characters have a cartoony undertone — not totally believable as real people.
The narration and dialogue jump around a lot. I read it a few times to make sure I picked up on everything. Some of it seems a bit unnecessary but other instances, such as text message conversations, make sense. There’s a section when the text is really light, to add dramatic effect I’m sure, but it doesn’t make much sense so I’m hoping there will be clarification in the next issue. I only notice one little artistic issue that bothered me: Eyes behind glasses. Sometimes they’re there, sometimes they’re not and I noticed at one point there was one and not the other.
Overall, I liked No. 1 With a Bullet. It’s not perfect, but it really touches on an actual problem in today’s society. It’s worth a look, especially if you have a strong social media addiction.