Trouble, Guts, and Noir: The Replacement
Written by: Jesse Toves
Art by: Jesse Toves
She’s perfect from head to toe, and trouble from start to finish. The Replacement is the first book in a continuing future noir adventure written and illustrated by Jesse Mesa Toves. One night, she disappears without telling a soul, but she leaves behind a trail of clues that only one man knows how to follow.
Here’s a book that sorta loops you in and has you thinking you’re going one direction, that of classically hard-bitten detective noir, and then spins you into a completely different sort of hard-bitten detective noir. As a bodyguard, our hero- who remains nameless- is as professional as they come. Even on his current job, working for a starlet with whom he’s got more than a little bit of a past, he’s all about the business. When the client doesn’t show up when and where she’s supposed to, he starts digging. The trail of breadcrumbs leads him to her apartment, past the passed out drunken and current boyfriend, and then right down the rabbit hole.
It’s a well written story, told mostly through a first person “inner monologue”, and had me chuckling over a few lines. The black and white artwork, simple line drawings without a lot of flash, is topnotch and loses nothing for the lack of color. For a story like this, I think color would almost take away from the tone. Overall, the effect works on pretty much every level and the only criticism I have would be one of editing. There are a few mistakes in grammar and spelling that give away the independent nature of the book.
My take is that this a slick little book that deserves a look.