Gunning for Hits #1
Writer: Jeff Rougvie
Colors & Letters: Casey Silver
Publisher: Image Comics
A review by Greg Brothers
The music industry is filled with verified and unverified stories about how bands have been discovered or burned by shady record executives. Of course, no time was wrought with such stories as the 1980s as the industry was brimming with money as MTV made bands famous overnight. What better setting for a crime-filled drama than those backrooms that are filled with mystery and treachery.
Martin Mills is a talent scout with an unsavory past who has a reputation for finding the right band at the right time. Currently, he finds himself in a small nightclub in Connecticut trying to beat his rivals in signing a new band. He knows that if the deal is not signed today, then when the band hits New York city the price is going to go up. Martin is a veteran at the music business and knows how to make a deal that no bad could ever resist.
Rougvie has a history within the music business, and that is obvious from the first page. He has been able to take that intimate knowledge and create a story that is suspenseful, humorous, and surprising all at once. As enjoyable as the read is, it is a very dense read. Rougvie takes that knowledge and lays out for the reader exactly what went into signing bands back in the heyday of the ’80s. For someone who has an interest in the music industry is it a fascinating read. However, if your musical knowledge begins and ends with the top forty pop station, you may find yourself flipping through the pages aimlessly.
Moritat’s art tends to fit the theme of the storytelling perfectly. Character emotions are easily recognizable which is important because the text is exposition heavy. Without the superior art, it would have made the story even denser. During a chunk of that exposition, Moritat changes style completely. It works for a time however it feels as if it goes on a little too long. Perhaps if the use of the alternative style had been spread out, it would not have felt so overused. The coloring helps to lend to the mystery as the grim and shadowy backroom is represented well.
Verdict: Wait and See
Gunning for Hits has a ton of potential. The setting is perfect for a mystery, treachery, and maybe even murder. Where the first issue suffers is the amount of set up that is needed to be able to move those other stories forward. If issue two can move away from being so text heavy and let the art and action tell part of the story, then Image will have a hit on their hands. If not Gunning for Hits may end up being only for those who has a true love for music and its sordid past.