Comic Vine Review

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Chin Music #2 Review

4

Even the "good guys" have to make a deal with the devil every once in a while.

The Good

Tony Harris. Tony Harris could draw a pile of sawdust and make it look captivating. Luckily, he's got a bit more than sawdust to play with in CHIN MUSIC, and his mastery of Prohibition-era aesthetic is absolutely a treat.

The panel layouts alone are worthy of this entire section of a review. They're bold, they're all focused on driving the reader's eye to just the right place, and they're wildly varied. Each page is visually engaging, and each panel demands closer inspection. CHIN MUSIC is sequential art doing the 'sequential' thing in a clever and astonishingly good way.

Within those artfully-designed panels is a lush and beautiful world, populated with characters that feel deep and weathered and storied. It's heavily stylized, in the best way possible -- I'm struggling to find better modern examples of deco style, especially in the comics medium. Every tiny detail, from Shaw's heavy eyelids to the way Ness dangles a cigarette, begs to be seen, yet doesn't fight with the flow of the page.

Harris' beautiful illustrations guide us through a complicated but compelling story; genre-wise, we're looking at what appears to be shaping up as a supernatural alt-history, and a fascinating one at that. Watching Eliot Ness make a deal with Shaw because he feels robbed of his greatest get is a unique play on a popular trope, and it opens up an incredibly broad range of possibilities.

The Bad

The desert scene from Issue #1 simultaneously makes more sense (in that it builds to the overall connectedness of the story) and less sense (in that I'm now deeply confused about what either party was doing in the desert) after Ness and Shaw meet for the second time. The big picture? Pretty murky right now.

The Verdict

CHIN MUSIC is complicated, and I'm not entirely sure where it's going, but it's so nice to look at that I don't mind. I'm looking forward to future chapters, just to see where this wild, stylized version of Eliot Ness is headed -- and to stare at more of Harris' positively stunning pages.

10 Comments
Posted by lifeboy

Lol at the name "Chin Music".

Posted by apg103

sweet chin music

Posted by The_jackolantern

I was excited when I got the 1st issue in may but its august now and my 2nd issue still hasn't came in.if its gonna be like this im gonna drop it and I have only over dropped two comics

Posted by acomicbooklook

Tony Fing Harris's art is worth the wait, I'm really liking the series.

Edited by MissJ

@the_jackolantern: If the posted publish schedule is correct, we're about to see a bunch of issues in pretty rapid succession. Not sure about what caused that big delay, but it looks like we'll see two issues in September and another in October.