August 02nd, 2011

Mister Who

Review By Shane Lightowler

So, I checked out the first issue of Mister Who! I first saw the Mister Who crew down at Kapow but didn't get around to grabbing the issue until LF popped past their stall at London Film and Comic Con. Now, truth be known, these cats were some of the more enthusiastic stall-holders at the con, and this instantly put them a class above. Their enthusiasm for the project clearly shone through, and on that basis I was willing to give their book a shot.

The issue involves the exploits of the mysterious vigilante Mister Who - South London's own version of Batman, Punisher, or the Question. The book doesn't cut corners when it comes to portraying the often-brutal realities of growing up in the poorest areas of London. We get a bit of background on what caused Mister Who to take up the fight against crime as well as some detective work that lays the groundwork for future stories. We've seen this kind of thing before, but the fact that this is a local book is, alone, worthy of merit. It will be interesting to see if the story can keep that local vibe as it progresses. Mister Who is an independent comic book in the truest sense, so we're not getting anywhere near pro-level writing or art (yet!), but the book is nicely produced with a hard stock cover and full colour art. The comic is a perfectly fine first issue from creators cutting their teeth on the comics medium, and there's absolutely no shame in that. It's easy to spot that a TON of effort has gone into this and this deserves respect.

The real strength of Mister Who lies in its concept. The book is all about portraying a positive message (and providing role models) to kids growing up in less-than-ideal situations, demonstrating that there's more out there than what's in front of you. It's important to point out that Mister Who isn't just a comic book - it's a cross-media project featuring music and animation arms as well. The whole affair seems to involve an entire community of people and this spirit shines through in all of the products. The Mister Who project is living proof that energy well-directed can produce inspiring outcomes - just the sort of message that can affect positive change. In fact, I'd say the concept alone sells this to me, much more than any of the individual components. Greater than the sum of its parts, one could say? I can't wait to see where the creators take this. It's going to be a wild ride if this gains traction.

I'd definitely recommend picking this up if you see it your local shop or at the next con. You wouldn't want to miss the next big thing, would you?

check out our video interviews with the Mister Who creative team at LFCC & Kapow!

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