*I received a free ecopy of this graphic novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
So I just wanna start off this review by saying the main character in this graphic novel is part human, part graffiti. If that doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what will. That’s like 80% of the reason I decided to read this.
Seriously, it was like:
– 80% the main character has graffiti for an arm
– 19% art by Michael Allred, the same artist who did iZombie
– 1% oh, yeah, I guess the story sounds good too, and since I took art classes for numerous years in middle and high school and always said I wanted to have a career that involved art (that never happened), I like to pretend I actually know anything about the topic even though in reality I’m actually one of those people who goes to art museums and says things like, “That’s just a black circle on a canvas. I could paint that myself.”
Ok that last part may have been a bit off topic, but this really was a fun, unique graphic novel, and you don’t need to know anything about art or famous artwork to enjoy it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the actual premise of a secret team keeping famous works of art safe, but it turned out to be an action-packed storyline, and the characters kept it entertaining rather than serious or stuffy.
Speaking of which, Reggie was a hard character to like, but I found myself liking him anyway. He was really rough around the edges… and the middle—he cared more about drinking, drugs, and fighting than anything else really—but he’s had a tough life. He was still a good person underneath his roughness.
As for the artwork, of course that was amazing.
The only real problem I had was that I was a little confused sometimes about exactly what was going on. It could’ve been the ARC formatting, it could’ve been the way it was written, it could’ve been me, I’m not really sure, but it was usually just small things and thus not something that ruined the story.
So overall, Art Ops Vol. 1 was creative in it’s premise and beautifully illustrated, and it was fun seeing pieces of art come alive in the real world! I do plan to continue the series as I think I’ll get even more into it as I get to know the characters more.
Anyone looking for a graphic novel with a unique premise, fans of Michael Allred's artwork or just art in general, and anyone who likes rough-around-the-edges characters.
Reggie Riot is no one’s idea of a cultural savior. The latchkey child of a busy single mother, he’s grown up to be a resentful slacker whose idea of high culture is getting stoned and admiring the graffiti in the alley where he scores his weed.
His mother, however, is not your average working parent. She’s the head of a secret organization called Art Ops, whose mission is protecting the artistic treasures of the world—which have a lot more life in them than a casual observer might realize.
Reggie has always shunned his mom’s high-culture scene, but a devastating encounter with the shadowy forces menacing the world’s masterpieces has left him with a permanent expression of the chaotic power of art flowing through his very veins.
So when Art Ops itself suddenly vanishes without a trace, leaving its final rescue—La Gioconda, the Mona Lisa herself—out in the cold, it’s up to Reggie and his motley crew—including a masked super-powered operative who writes sitcom scripts on spec, a girls-just-wanna-have-fun ’80s music-video icon, and a suburban clerk from a mall-punk clothing chain—to come to the rescue.
But do they have what it takes to stand up to the dark side of human creativity?
From writer Shaun Simon (co-author of The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys with My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way) and artists Michael Allred (co-creator of iZOMBIE) and Matt Brundage (The Spirit: The New Adventures) comes ART OPS VOL. 1: HOW TO START A RIOT, collecting issues #1-5 of the ongoing VERTIGO series and featuring a special sketchbook section from Allred and Brundage.