"Chopper #1" Comic Review
Written by James "Spez" Ferguson
Published by Asylum Press
Written by Martin Shapiro
Illustrated by Juan Ferreyra
2011, 24 pages
Comic Book released on October 5th, 2011
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one that most people know by now. At the very least you've probably seen the Tim Burton movie. You know, the one that stars Johnny Depp...Oh, right, they all do. Anyway, the basics boil down to the iconic image of the Headless Horseman. Asylum Press and Night Owl Productions have decided to modernize this story and put their own spin on it with Chopper. Now, before you get all crazy about someone tampering with a good story, this isn't like George Lucas messing with Star Wars, okay? This is an old story that could use a bit of updating.
Chopper starts up in beautiful Daytona Beach, which I can tell you first hand is definitely NOT Sleepy Hollow. Christina, a cop's daughter and resident drug dealer / cheerleader, is hating everybody and getting drunk at football games. She takes a break to make a new sale with the good stuff. “Stairway to Heaven” is described as being five times stronger than ecstasy. Unfortunately for the buyer, he's never seen alive again. He gets chased down by the Reaper, a headless Hell's Angel.
The comic itself is pretty high quality. Asylum Press has really stepped up their game with this release. There's a beautiful cover drawn by Cris Ortega that gives us a brief glimpse of what the book has in store. The interior art is done by Juan Ferreyra and aside from a few uneven facial expressions, is stellar all the way through with more detail than you usually see from books released by the Big Two.
Asylum Press is teaming up with Night Owl Productions to turn Chopper into a web series as well. I don't know if that's going to be a straight adaptation or a different story, but this first issue could translate pretty well into a TV series. Obviously it's a bit more racy and violent than what's featured currently on broadcast or even cable TV, but the setup and the storytelling would be a good fit.
The first book from this five issue series does what you'd expect. We get a brief introduction to the characters and several questions are brought up to set the stage for the rest of the story. Who is the Reaper? Where did he come from? What exactly is “Stairway to Heaven” and how did Christina get into selling it? What's up with her tattoo? There's a lot going on and I was left wanting more by the end of the issue. Of course, that's what good comics are supposed to do.
Here's the deal if you want to check out Chopper #1, which you should: Since Asylum Press is a relatively small publisher, there's a good chance your local comic shop might not have this in stock when it comes out October 5th. If you're interested in the book, ask your shop to order you a copy. The sooner the better with books like this as they can live or die on pre-orders. You're getting 24 pages of story for $2.99 which is more than you're getting from Marvel or DC lately. The only ads here are at the back of the issue and they're just for other books from Asylum. Plus there are boobs in this book.