The Comic Queen

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Drive Review

Drive GN
Frequency Press; $11.95
Writer: Nate Southard; Artist: Shawn Richter

Drive is all action, with the perfect title. Nearly instantly (page three, to be exact), the story starts to roll when cabbie Brian takes on a fare who puts a gun to his head and tells him “Look straight ahead, put both hands back on the wheel, and DRIVE.” Soon Brian is wrapped up in much more than he can handle or ever expected, and at a break-neck speed.

This isn’t to say that the pace is out of control, though. In fact, that’s what impressed me the most by Southard’s writing. He clearly has a good feel for pace. It would have been easy for an action comic to get rolling too quickly and come to a slamming halt at the end, but Southard manages to avoid this.

For an action comic, especially, he also steers pretty clear of letting his dialogue become too clichéd or hackneyed. Cliché dialogue just pulls a reader right out of the panel and brings awareness that the story is just that—a story. It creates too much distance between the story and the reader. Drive, on the other hand, pulls you in and doesn’t let go until the end. It’s fast paced and relentless, but definitely in a good way. This is overall an enjoyable read, and I expect to see good things to come from Southard.

The most criticism I have for the book is that the art left a lot to be desired for me. Proportions were often off and the characters were almost overdrawn with detail. The panels, however, were easy to follow and didn’t get in the way of the “driving” storyline, something even the most skilled artists sometimes have a difficult time achieving.

Bottom Line: B-

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