I’ve always had an affinity for all things monsters, mysterious, and supernatural. The Universal movie monsters, ghosts, Bigfoot, Kolchak, etc. And as I’ve gotten older, my appetite for the weird continues to grow. Now I’m looking into the Dresden Files, Hellboy, and just about anything by Loren Coleman. So when I discovered that Image Comics was going to publish a new series titled Proof that dealt with cryptozoology, I made sure to throw it on the pull list.
For those in the audience unfamiliar with the term, according to the good folks at Dictionary.com, cryptozoology is “the study of evidence tending to substantiate the existence of, or the search for, creatures whose reported existence is unproved, as the Abominable Snowman or the Loch Ness monster.”
Proof #1 introduces us to FBI Agent Ginger Brown. During a hold-up at a jewelry store, Agent Brown does her best to settle down the situation when all of a sudden, she quite literally comes face to face with someone, or something, quite unnatural. Next thing she knows, Brown is sitting in front of her supervisor and being told she has just been transferred to Washington. State, not DC. Upon her arrival at her new post, Brown is met by her new boos, Agent Leander Wight, and brought into The Lodge.
What’s the Lodge you ask? Think the B.P.R.D. headquarters from the Hellboy movie but much more…country. Just when things couldn’t get more bizarre, Agent Brown is introduced to her new partner: John “Proof” Prufrock.
Thing is, John “Proof” Prufrock just so happens to be Bigfoot.
Writer Alex Grecian does a nice job of setting up the series and works in some chronological scene shifts to give the first issue’s ending some television pilot-styled closure. You can’t expect too much characterization in twenty-four pages but Grecian is able to set up all of the main characters nicely and leave enough blanks to fill in future issues. As for the pretty pictures, artist Rile Rossmo handles the lines and the inks, providing a sketchy visual atmosphere. There are times in the first issue where I would’ve preferred less-sketchy representations of the main characters, if only to get a better sense of their reactions. But Rossmo’s style does nothing to hinder the storytelling and, if anything, gives the book a slightly skewed and exaggerated look which seems appropriate considering the subject matter.
At the end of the issue, Grecian leaves the reader with a few pages of extra material, including an origin behind the idea for the series and a few recommendations/references from the world of cryptozoology. More importantly, Grecian makes a case for our support of Proof by asserting that he and Rossmo have already completed five-issues of the new series and laid out five years worth of storylines, all before evening signing on with Image Comics. At a time when comics timeliness suffers due to creative lethargy and artistic divas, it’s good to hear that the team behind Proof care enough about their own book to give it the TLC it needs to gain some momentum.
Overall, I’m anxious to see where the series goes. If monsters and cryptids are in the mix, I’ve got all the Proof I need.
Link: Image Comics 5-page preview of Proof #1
Link: Newsarama interview with Proof writer Alex Grecian and artist Riley Rossmo including concept sketches and preview pages