Jack Grimm: Harbinger of Death #1-5
Creator: Gary Boyarski
Review by Josh Rose
Jack Grimm: Harbinger of Death follows Jack Grimm, an accountant who discoveres the Reaper went insane and was taking more souls than he should. The Reaper was banished, and in turn Jack replaced him as the new Harbinger of Death. While Jack goes about his new duties, a conspiracy to bring back the Reaper for some mysterious purpose is set in motion.
I really like what Gary Boyarski has done in creating a whole new universe for the afterlife. Most stories involving the afterlife have either Hell, Heaven, both, or something completely different like in Reborn. This series sees Jack go all over the afterlife, from Heaven to Hell and beyond.
Boyarski includes many great characters that readers could recognize. Saint Peter, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Beezlebub, and the Devil himself. While I enjoy Boyarski’s reference to an old Rowan Atkinson skit about Hell, I find it’s too close to the original dialogue.
It’s clear that Boyarski is influenced by classic indie comics like Cerebus the Aardvark. Jack Grimm: Harbinger of Death is done completely in black and white. Some pages look great. Other pages, like the ones set in Heaven, seem too white and would do well to have some grey. Adding some greyscale to the art would lend the art some depth, while still giving it the lightness of Heaven.
While this story is about death and the afterlife, an often horrifying concept, the characters are drawn in a way that’s friendly to all readers. Jack Grimm is an adorable skeleton, surrounded by equally cute friends like Samuel the Bridge Keeper. The most terrifying character, the Reaper, portrays a scary countenance, but lacks a quality to make it truly terrifying.
The Verdict: Buy it!
Jack Grimm: Harbinger of Death is a great series that bleeds with its creator’s enthusiasm for the medium. The first arc isn’t complete yet, but I look forward to seeing Jack overcome his fear and doubt. This is a wonderful indie series, and a great story for the whole family to enjoy.