Written and drawn by Michael S Bracco
Release Date: September 2012
Cover Price: $9.99
Dude, straight up, this comic is pretty awesome. The pitch: A la The X-Men, every one in a million people will be blessed and cursed with a power that will develop in their awkward, pubescent teen years, but rather then popping claws or mastering magnetism or whatever-the-hell-it-is-Cable-does these kids get one specific power – to bring anything they imagine come to life through drawing. And just like that, you got a lovely set up for a meta story about comic book storytelling, the process of making comics itself, and disgruntled youth.
More to the point, The Creators inaugural issue focuses on Maya, a typical 16-year-old whose into fairy tales, art class, and whose begun showing signs that she’ll be gifted with this power and her parents as they react, quite reasonably, to balancing their new obligations of registering their daughter to the government which will ship her off to their Creator Academy and being loving parents.
Meanwhile we get a taste of what sort of chaos these special kids are bringing to the world when 14-year-old malcontent Ian Finnegan lets loose a 50-foot-tall demonic looking Pachyderm he names Battle Tusk on the high school where he’s being bullied, but it doesn’t take long before government agents working for the B.C.E. (Bureau for Creative Enforcement) appear to take the beast and its creator down. The world of The Creators is expanded even further as we’re introduced to Morgan Etain, the first person to develop powers 12 years ago who now works with the government but may have an agenda of her own.
The story walks a tightrope of milking its storytelling potential and not taking itself to seriously. I mean, naming your monster Battle Tusk? That’s kind of funny. And then the scene manages to end on a note equal parts sad and horrific. There’s a great deal of exposition to wade through and it’s largely done seamlessly, though, maybe the worst thing I can say about the book is that there’s some character stuff that drags… but even that leads straight to a bait and switch that caught me off guard. This was a well-paced and refreshingly off-brand read.
The series creator (ahem) Michael S. Bracco has been on the radar for some 5 years, working on small press and independently published titles Novo and Adam Wreck (The Creators was funded by a Kickstarter campaign and is available on Bracco’s Etsy site), he also shows he has the artistic chops to carry a story that’s largely about, well, art itself. Sticking to black, grey, and purple tones and drawing with a youthful fervor, Bracco’s characters have a Jeff Lemire/Vaughn Bode charm, and his pages, lovely Kevin Eastmen-esque layouts. And yet his work does not wear any inspiration on its sleeve. It instead feels wholly original and fresh. It’s more like The Creators is a book done by someone who gets infectiously excited about cool comics.