Grit #1 – Review
If you had the (mis)fortune of growing up a 90’s kid, first and foremost, you are too far past being able to use the adjective “young” to describe yourself. “Old”. That’s what you are. Matter of fact, most of us are already there and it’s “1 out of 5 stars – would not recommend”. But, other than the sheer feeling of having left your prime years way back in the rear view mirror of life, you probably remember that entertainment of that decade was drenched in one of two colors: either it was soaked in noisy jeweled-color fashionable blues and purples, or it was the color of blood – the “we should make everything clear plastic” trend notwithstanding.
The only in-between seemed to be the washed-out greys and beiges of the grunge movement, but that was for pre-grownups. We’re talking actual kids of the actual 90’s. And whenever a company wanted us to pester our parents to buy us something, especially if it was deemed a “boy’s thing”, ultraviolence was the way to go.
And, depending on your country of origin, it well might have been the case that you were absorbing episodes of Barney & Friends half an hour before you’d see a Knight Of The Zodiac bleed to death on the same TV screen. You weren’t privy to the information of exactly how much blood we carried inside ourselves before you saw someone discharge four times that amount from a black hole in their stomach – and remain conscious enough to deal the final blow to an intergalactic evil. Conversations all along the pre-school floor ranged from what was your favorite kind of stuffed animal to what dirt tasted better or what was the most powerful Saiyan in your opinion. Even our default game when going for toy cars was “let’s see how we can make them crash the most spectacularly”.
Then came the DOOMs, the Mortal Kombats, the disgusting close-ups featured prominently on Ren & Stimpy. TV taught us violence and graphic imagery were not only the most fun you could have without feeling pain, but that it was what we didn’t know we needed. In fact, the 90’s, though sheltered by our parents and responsible adults from the one in the real world, was covered in violence. We craved it. We wanted to see Goku obliterate the latest batch of enemies that arrived on Earth so that, the very next day, we could replicate the scene with our friends in the schoolyard. It’s not like we wanted to actually hurt anyone per se, it’s just being violent seemed fun. The real blood that sometimes spurted out of our heads or knees was just an added bonus, a touch of realism, that we, at the end of the day, feared so much we could pass out after just catching a glimpse of that particular shade of red.
All in all, we were a marketing trial for what was to come and we had no clue we were being used – we simply enjoyed the ride.
“He’s Losing His Mind… And I’m Reaping All The Benefits”
Now, thirty years into the future, independent media is reaping all the benefits of making us lose our minds during our early childhoods with graphic animated gore. The time has come for all the children who were once described by their parents as “insensitive to violence” to create their own displays of violent stories for the world to consume. Such is the case of Grit #1 an amazing ride of a comic book despite having little to no plot.
As the reader opens this premiere offering of Scout Comics, they are welcomed by the image of a goblin peeing before a tree. On the very next panel, said goblin is explicitly pierced by a spear through the chest until it’s now embedded to the tree’s trunk. What comes after that, is nothing but page after page after page of a Clint Eastwood looking Bruce Willis plowing through, dismembering, mauling and destroying a plethora of goblins and their various body parts. Once the goblins have been vanquished, it’s time to rinse and repeat the same dance, this time having a diabolical cult and monsters made of blood as the recipients of the continuous maiming.
“Why is all of this happening?”, a man of culture may be urged to ask out loud. I honestly don’t know. I mean, there’s a scene where a random unnamed character seems to imply he’s hired our main character to take care of a “troll issue”, and another bar scene were some people talk ambiguously about him, but that’s it. There is a dash of fantasy world building with asynchronous western tidbits here and there, peppered through the artwork and its coloring, but there isn’t anything on this issue that points to real world-building so far.
“But”, I reply to the man of culture asking in the paragraph above, “does that really matter?” “No”, I’d answer myself without prompting, “since this issue is just a 23-page long action scene that serves to showcase the abilities of the artists working on it as well as establish the overall vibe the story will take on in later issues.” But I’m also aware this won’t be enough of a reason for some folks to go and buy this issue. Not that I believe there’s a dash of lying in what I just said – all of it is blatantly obvious from page one –, but because I know the amount of money one needs to invest in order to so much as peek through a single comic book issue these days. I mean, $3.99 is not something you find everyday on the floor while walking back from the store. “Is this one worth it?” I’m gonna go ahead and say “Yes. As long as you like fun. Or grew up in the blood-soaked 90’s.”
Is There A Conclusion Here?
Grit #1 is a violent fest for those that love ogling at awesome artwork without really thinking about what it means or what is happening. To put it bluntly, this issue is sort of an artbook that, at the same time, almost preludes a story that promises to be either deep or convoluted, with a mythos that could span eons of possibilities. Or it’s just the opening scene of a very dumb – but masterfully made – action flick.
Whatever the case, this is a fun ride I would like to continue. And if we never actually get any concrete story to accompany the gratuitous panels showcasing open skulls with half-cut brains glued to goblins with goofy dead expressions, I’m alright. As long as the art is this good and the paneling is this fluid.