Making a Living in “Pencil Head” #1 (Review)
Creator, Writer, and Illustrator: Ted McKeever
This week brings us a new #1 from Image Comics, “Pencil Head.” I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this issue since the cover boasts a wide variety of things. However, by the time I finished reading issue 1 I found myself pleasantly surprised. As a person that generally reads about superheroes and the fantastic “Pencil Head” fell a bit outside of my wheelhouse, but it was nice to read something taking place in the everyday that involved rather ordinary characters. Although it does seem like this series has some fantastical elements too. The main protagonist, Poodwaddle, is a free lance comic book writer who finds himself struggling to express his creativity with bosses that want to produce something catered to an audience. Not only does “Pencil Head” provide the audience with the struggles of an aspiring creator but also insight regarding the politics behind the industry.
The creative elements behind “Pencil Head” were certainly entertaining. The writing is very down to earth and human while the art is unique and comical. Poodwaddle is a character that they audience can relate with even though we may not be in a position like him. He’s a guy seemingly working to get by and grappling with self-expression and bosses that stifle his visions. Character design remains diverse and certainly humorous as many come off as over the top and exaggerated. The art keeps things simple by sticking to black and white but this lends itself to creating some unique scenes and panels. While the story is about an average guy, the style of art gives this series a bit of a comically downtrodden feel at times.
This is a series that feels as though it has potential, but unlike many titles I can’t quite tell where this one is heading. After reading “Pencil Head,” my socks weren’t knocked off but I am interested enough to continue reading. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a character that’s a bit mundane and ordinary, but I do feel that Poodwaddle has the potential to surprise his readers in dealing with the threats around the corner. I’d recommend “Pencil Head” to anyone looking to get away from their usual titles and explore something new.