"The Long Con #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Oni Press
Written by Dylan Meconis & Ben Coleman
Illustrated by Ea Denich
Colored by M. Victoria Robado
Lettered by Aditya Bidikar
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 5th, 2018
Victor has managed to get through the quarantine zone and back into the Long Con, but he's quickly assaulted by the locals. Fortunately, he's got a friend on the inside with Dez, who was promoting some stuff when everything went to Hell. Now that she knows the world didn't completely end, she's making plans to get out of the convention, but that's easier said than done. This place has turned into a dystopian society and some folks are taking it way too seriously.
The Long Con bounces between the past and the present. We don't know exactly what happened to create this quarantine zone and land lobsters and stuff just yet. Instead, we're learning more about Victor and Dez in these flashback segments that mirror their lives in the present.
It's clear that Victor looked down upon the nerd life, resenting the fact that he had to lower himself to cover a comic convention in the first place. As such, it's more than a little fun to see him get his comeuppance when he's forced to return for his last chance and it just might cost him his life.
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Dez on the other hand is in her element. Sure, she's been stuck in this convention center for five years and she lost an eye, but she's surviving. We see an example of this in the opening pages as she throws out some Pockit Rockitz trading cards to throw off some feral tweens. This is a fantastic sequence from artist Ea Denich. My favorite part is when the cards hit the ground in one panel and the next shows a bunch of glowing eyes looking out from the shadows. This is all in an effort to get some hot dogs.
While the various elements within The Long Con are certainly life threatening, they're not overtly scary. I mean, we're dealing with a bunch of rambunctious tweens and a pack of dogs. Writers Dylan Meconis & Ben Coleman bring the laughs while still dealing with the post-apocalyptic landscape they've created. I think we can all agree that The Walking Dead would be a whole lot more interesting if Frank was forced to wear a pink t-shirt with a cartoon cat on it instead of a police uniform.
Denich does some fantastic sound effects that flow well with the artwork. They weave around the images to make for a more organic look and feel. For example, when the tweens blow into a conch shell, the sound flows around the leader and off the page. The sound effects also add to the humorous quality of the book as they're often exaggerated or overly expressive in just the right moments.
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Delivery and pacing is handled well which is integral for both horror and comedy comics. Since The Long Con is a hybrid of the two, it walks a fine line. Letterer Aditya Bidikar helps with this too, such as when Victor gets smacked in the face with some nunchuks (nunchaku is correct, but nunchuks seems to be colloquial). His small cries of pain come out as these little blurbs that trail down to him off panel.
While there are some definite laugh-out-loud moments in The Long Con, you never forget the horrible world these characters are living in. M. Victoria Robado's colors really give you the sense of dirt and grime that's built up in the convention center over the past five years. Comic conventions aren't the most hygienic places to begin with, but this one is absolutely filthy. It's a grim landscape.
The Long Con flows like a funny version of Dead Rising, but replaces the zombies with crazed convention attendees. Victor is along for this ride and still might not know what he got himself into. His snark and signature wit will not save him from a pack of wild dogs looking to tear down the set of Boat Cop.