Thwip!’s “What About…” Wednesdays is a quick look at a current series that we haven’t talked about in a while or not reviewed on this site. So, let’s see how Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s Dirty Class has been faring.
Whenever a story about a school pops up, you know that I am definitely going to be picking it up.
Usually I am looking for some school hijinx and a school that I would love to teach at (for those who are wondering, not Hogwards, yes to Gotham Academy, yes to Lumberjanes Camp [if they would have me], and not the Xavier Institute [none of the iterations]).
Count the King’s Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts…as a place I would definitely avoid! (in a good way)
Anyways, the story (especially the first storyline) is all about the students. I think there are all together no more than five scenes where the students are interacting with teachers in the classroom. Marcus is our Holden Caulfield (almost literally, the kid pisses and moans and does horrible things as he tries to discover who he is [okay, I didn’t like Catcher in the Rye and so I never read it carefully] in the world full of assassins and sexy girls.
I am going to tell you, Marcus is a very unlikable character to follow around the entire time, but the story is meant for you to not like him…and really hate most of his classmates (in a good way). As we see this freshmen class basically implode as they work their way through their frustrations that is coupled with deadly assassin skills, you don’t find yourself being able to turn away…you want to see what happens and with pretty much at least one person dying with each and every outing (and an outing just might be a late night party, not even a proper father-killing jaunt), you wonder who is next to be on the (literal) chopping block.
Recently the first story arc of the new year (they are sophmores now!) reads so much better (I like the new characters that are introduced, they are fun and kids I would love to hang out with…especially Helmut).
While I have been talking about the story non-stop, it would be a disservice not to talk about Wes Craig’s art…which phenomenal.
Despite the dense panel count (this is a very wordy comic by the way), he pencils in so much gorgeous action and body language and just art in general in those teeny tiny panels, that you get well and truly immersed in the story. That is not to say that all the panels are small, there are glorious single panel pages, beautiful angles, and massively inventive ways to tell a story. Even if you don’t like the characters, the art drags you along with it, ’cause you are like, “I just want to stare at some more of that beautiful comic work.”
The latest issue ended with a major bombshell of a revelation and so I am completely hooked for a long while coming.