The first issue of Harvest is, for me, a pretty terrifying book. Not because of the urban-legend-esque black market organ trade but rather because of the way Ben, our main character becomes involved. You see Ben is a man with problems: booze, drugs, and hookers from what we are shown so far. Ben is also a doctor. When these two aspects meet it’s not pretty and Ben ends up in a situation where the amount of control he has over his life is very, very slim. And folks, that’s where it gets scary to me. You see one of my biggest fears has always been having to choose between putting food on the table and living within the law. I share that with you only to say that the writing in this book is so good that I haven’t been able to shake that aspect of the story since I finished it! While most folks don’t have the same problems Ben has, they can easily imagine themselves having to make similar choices and Lieberman’s writing is so visceral that I couldn’t help being a little terrified!
AJ Lieberman has written what may be, even though it’s still early in the month, the best comic to come out this month. This is a first issue and I honestly think that this could be held up as an example of how to start a series. The story progresses without getting bogged down but still manages an amazing bit of character development and gives us plenty of reason to want #2 to come out sooner rather than later. Of course Lieberman is not a rookie writer so it’s not really a shock that he pulled off the opening act of this book without missing a step. For me the shock is how close it is to being perfect.
The only this that could have possibly brought Lieberman’s story telling down a notch or two would be the art. Thankfully this is not the case. If anything the art is as close to perfect as Lieberman’s writing. From the line work to the lettering each panel draws you in and keeps you reading. Colin Lorimer really manages to illustrate this story in a way that the despair and depravity are given breath in a way that words alone would have a hard time accomplishing. The way Liberman’s story and Lorimer’s art come together is symbiotic in a way that a lot series could only dream of accomplishing. I think this strength will be what makes this, quite likely, one of the best series of the year.
This book is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. It is a modern day horror story on a very psychological level told in such a manner that the second book can’t here fast enough. Harvest #1 is further proof, for me, that letting the creators have their way leads to better comics. Image is doing amazing things right now and I, for one, have all but abandoned the big two because there’s just stuff out there that’s so much better.
~ Romeo Sid Vicious ~