Pullbox Reviews: The Afflecktion #1 – A not so ordinary day in the life of a guy who isn’t famous…

Life’s been a bit of a mixed bag for aspiring screen-writer Ari Ben-Avram. Being born with a fair resemblance to esteemed actor/director Ben Affleck might seem like it’d be kinda cool, but it hasn’t helped him sell his movie script. Worse, there soon came a time when that inevitable question- “Hey… are you Ben Affleck?”- would cause Ari literal pain. Still, with all the faces in all the world, at least it wasn’t like he could actually be alone, right? Someone out there knows what he’s going through.

Did that paragraph confuse you at all? Do you feel after reading those 88 words (go ahead, count ‘em), you were no closer to understanding what The Afflecktion was about? Don’t worry, I was right there with you. I got this as a review copy, with a very enthusiastic introduction from writer Dylon Peven. He didn’t give anything away, except for the very basic premise, and I figured I was in for a little “slice of life” story, maybe with a touch of “The Twilight Zone” (kids, ask your parents). What I got was…

Nope, not gonna spoil it.

What I will say is that if you’ve got the drive to step out of the mainstream and into something left of center, you could do a whole lot worse than The Afflecktion. Dylon Peven’s introduction to his main character, Ari, is a little mystifying. He gives nothing away aside from the idea that he has weird dreams and looks like a famous former Bat-person (I’m not going to keep repeating his name in case he’s paying attention and decides to hit thePullbox up for royalties). Where Peven goes from that cold open is into territory that’s not always an easy mark to hit in comics. See, Ari’s kind of a prick when we first meet him, a bit of a whiner who blames his lack of success on anyone and everyone else. Never settling a speck of the responsibility on himself, he’s just the kind of person that people don’t usually care to hang around. That’s a gamble, putting your main character out there and taking the risk of losing the reader when they decide that it’s just not worth the effort of spending time with someone they don’t like. Not gonna lie, I thought about pulling the plug for a minute, but being the impulsive guy that I am I decided to hang in there.

The odd concept behind The Afflecktion is helped along by the able and willing pen of Zander Bice, with colors by Nicholas Michael. As this one is populated by more or less normal, average folk, Bice lets his character designs follow suit. There are no larger-than-life figures engaging in thrilling heroics. It’s all just people going about their day. Bice lets the normal, everyday aesthetic work as it pulls a bit of a shell game with the reader, lulling them into the expected slice of life story before the Turn. Nicholas Michael keeps pace, most of his colors looking fairly muted on the page, showing us that Ari’s world is just that lackluster.

Look, I’m not telling you that this comic is going to change your life or open your eyes to a new paradigm. What I will tell you is that Team Afflecktion has done the work of laying out a pretty straight forward start to a story, and then spinning into a pretty sharp turn before the issue’s done. If nothing else, they’ve got me wanting to follow along and see where it goes in the next issue. As far as comic creator goals go, that’s usually the first hurdle.

Final Score: 10/13

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