Comics and Culture

Crowded Issue #1 is a Frightening look at Crowdfunding

Crowded, Image Comics, Independent, Social Media, Ego, Maniac
Crowded #1 – Cover

Crowded #1

Crowded brings the trend of “Crowdfunding” to terrifying levels

Crowded, Image Comics, Independent, Social Media, Ego, Maniac

Meet 20 something Charlie. She is what is considered to be a “New Age” worker. All of her jobs are accessed through her phone. From driving to babysitting to even lending out dresses to complete strangers. There is also a campaign a site, called Reapr, where 2000+ people want her dead. To the tune of 1.2 million crowd funded dollars.

Crowded, Image Comics, Independent, Social Media, Ego, Maniac

Meet her bodyguard, Vita. She works in private contracting on the site Dfend, with an average rating of 1.4 out of 5 stars. Despite her lauded skill list, I have a suspicion as a reader that she hasn’t had that many jobs over the years. With a campaign like this I believe she sees it as her chance to really put herself out there.

When you put the two together, hilarity ensues.

As mentioned, Crowded is a comic that explores what happens when crowdfunding is taken a set too far. The idea that this woman, who thus far appears to be nothing special, now has people gunning for her to potentially earn 1.2 million dollars is mind-blowing. Not necessarily far-fetched, no. Just mind-blowing.

Outside of the core concept, how does it read? The characters have instant chemistry from their character roots: Charlie’s sweet innocent I-have-done-nothing-wrong facade to Vita’s hardass no-nonsense approach to her work. Both their designs and speech give the reader an more in-depth peek at their character that is, typically, rather difficult to do in this floppy issues. Charlie is very much a modern girl, from her dress to her usage of her phone to even her vague contempt at anything “old-fashion”. Vita is the opposite, as while she uses phones and a laptop for her work, she is very much old-fashion. Pre-1970s car, old manor house, to a tv that I am pretty sure still uses tubes.

What really sells this comic to me above others with the same premise? Charlie herself. Typically in these stories the one needing protection is clumsy, very unaware of how close their are to death, and are very much the comedy relief. While Charlie has all of these qualities in the first half of the issue, it is by the second that we see that she definitely not as sweet or as innocent as she claims to be.

I highly recommend this floppy to fans of quirky characters, bright colorful art pages, as well as the high octane action sequences of films like John Wick or of the Fast-and-Furious franchise. I know I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next issue. 5 Sodas!