High Sarah Corps #1
Writer/Artist: David Vieira
Colourist: Lesley Atlansky
Story Consultant: Heather Antos
Publisher: What Dave Does Studios
A review by Amelia Wellman
It’s 1867 and America is still in the shadows of the Civil War. High Sarah Corps #1 follows Sarah Mason, an educated but sick woman whose decided to live while she still can. She recruits individuals that are sick, unwanted, or forgotten to form a Corps for hire. For them, there is no job too big, too small, or too dangerous.
High Sarah Corps #1 shows the titular Sarah and her Corps on a case. They’re trying to track down bank property (aka stolen money) using Sarah’s mostly non-violent methods. During the mission we’re told why this group was formed: everyone in it is sick and want to live life before they die. We’re briefly given some back story on two of the members and it leaves me really interested to learn more of the back stories surrounding the others. And having an educated woman heading this group of sickly, misfit, hired guns? A great choice! Who needs another cowboy story about white men?
The art of High Sarah Corps #1 is coarse and simple but also stylized and filled with specific details. Everything is rough around the edges, filled in with thick cross-hatching, like sketches hastily taken down in a field note journal, but there’s always attention constantly paid to details like bags under eyes or the curls at the bottom of Sarah’s hair. Vieira’s art is a little heavy-handed but the thought going into the artwork evens it out and gives the work charm. A great example of this is how the flashbacks are framed like pictures stuck in a photo album. It’s a neat touch that doesn’t take much but adds a bunch.
I actually really love the work-arounds that Vieira has employed in some of the trickier artwork. No disrespect meant at all, but some aspects of comic book art seem out of Vieira’s grasp at the moment. As an example, there’s a panel in which a man gets slapped across the face. We see Sarah’s hand raised for the slap and his face turned, but there’s not any natural fluidity to it so the word “SLAP” is dropped in. I’m all for the creative use of onomatopoeia and I personally think the insertion of a word instead of illustrating the action over several panels is really smart. It’s easier for the artist and is something unique and memorable when the comic comes to an end.
Check it out! Stories about hired guns have been done to death, but High Sarah Corps #1 has tweaked and adjusted the story just the right way to pique my interest. I’m intrigued by each of the characters and want to follow their adventures so I can learn more about them. The art can be jarring, but consistent details throughout keep a continuity that conveys thoughtfulness where skill might not be strong enough.
High Sarah Corps will be exclusively on comiXology.