VFTD – Deuce of Hearts

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Richard Mo – Tony Gregori – Claudia Aguirre – Ryan Ferrier – Kim McLean

Tony Gregori is quickly becoming my favorite artist if he’s not already captured that title.  I’ve watched the last couple of years as his style has remained clearly identifiable while growing leaps and bounds.  This book is a delight on several fronts. It takes a truism of today (app life) and brings it into the heart and soul of comicdom.  We get a fantastic voyage that is full of cooky, crazy fun that also delivers a wonderfully written story.

I love the complexity in the book as it mixes several elements in the batter yet still yields a very even tasting final product.  There is obviously a social commentary aspect with the entirety of the app based plot point.  Taking that and merging it with the absurdity (in a good way) of comic books was quite fun.  An app that grants a superhuman ability?  A video game type of buff?  That’s straight comic book at its finest.  Yes, yes there’s clearly a tongue in cheek yet clear message about a particular part of today’s culture BUT it is merely a wonderfully crazy backdrop for the … er, heart of the book.  Those afore mentioned elements are woven by Gregori’s art into a very eye catching visualization of a vanity and ‘how can I up myself’ driven society.  As insanely rich as the presentation is, the true to each of us narrative isn’t overpowered.

Yes, I’ll say it one more time.  Gregori and Aguirre’s work in this book stands on its own.  You can flip through the pages just looking at the incredibly rich and wide cast world that they’ve created.  As you take it in while reading Mo’s story line you can get a feeling of just how well this creative team works together.  The characters are absolutely independent creations and are brought to life in the best possible ways to enrich the book.  Sure, there’s some “base level” dudes/dudettes but that’s the point.  The expertly portrayed fantasy type characters are equally fantastical as the “base” are base.  All of these play perfectly as each of their interactions are as unique as they are as characters.  And that, that right there is the crux of the book.  Despite the overly sci-fi, fantasy, perfectly comic book cast … the point of it all is about US.  Who we are, how we interact, and just what we all come down to when dealing with one another.  Ferrier and McLean lend to the characterizations with spot on lettering.  As with their looks each character’s dialogue feels personal and comes off as unique to them.

Deuce of Hearts is a wonky ride through who we are, what we do, and how we see and value others.  The tale takes a true to form comic book approach in telling us quite a bit about ourselves.  Vanity and superficial machinations are all too often in the driver’s seat.  Very quickly our past choices and actions catch up to us.  We aren’t flawless though and genuinely the truly “bad” folks are outweighed by the good ones.  All of us fall flat on our faces at times with our decision making and none of us are perfect by any stretch.  The tag line is PERFECT.  “Trade up.”  Indeed.  Throughout life people and relationships are often treated and thought of as nothing but just another currency.

Grab Deuce of Hearts.  Read through it and enjoy the superb visual journey.  Read through it again and enjoy the superb personal one.

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