Review: Psircus #1

Psircus, P.T. Barnum, Daniel Bell, Icarus, circus,

Psircus #1 is a 24-page black & white comic that includes three short stories written by Daniel Bell. Here are their descriptions:

”’Kathy Isn’t Right,’ by Bell & Katja Lindblom: Kathy is a girl who hears voices and there’s a monkey coming to get her. Her salvation wants to take her where it’s always sunny, but there is a darkness to these promises.

”’Icarus,’ by Bell & Ian Buchanan: Icarus is a troubled girl, her father is training her to be an assassin only there are no bullets in the gun, and it’s not really her father.

”’The Pull,’ by Bell: There’s a rapist on the prowl, and Kathy and Icarus, agents of the Psircus, are out to get him. how can they overcome a man who can make people do whatever he wants them to? How will they deal with the threat without exposing their secret world?”

P.T. Barnum is in charge of this “circus,” and he explains things this way: “There are individuals in this world who possess great talents. Often they are misunderstood. Their talents are feared. They are locked away, have their gifts cut out.”

Mr. Barnum is gathering people to accomplish things ordinary people cannot. The first two stories are background for the third. I really think that framing sequences would have made this book hang together more cohesively, but it’s still a good read.

Personally, I liked the story in “Kathy Isn’t Right” and the art in “Icarus” the best. However, be prepared for surprises in each tale, such as a religious leader in a gun sight in the second part, which you can check out below:

Psircus, P.T. Barnum, Daniel Bell, Katja Lindblom, Ian Buchanan, Icarus

 The payoff is in the third part of the book, and we see that both girls have begun to master their abilities, but they have a challenge to face in a rapist who can influence others to do his will. At times, the writer’s art is very cohesive, but there are other times when it isn’t quite as good. For instance, when the girls are in a club, it seems like the woman on the right has her head tilted in an odd direction, and I found that distracting.

Still, their solution is an interesting one, resolving the problem in a way I didn’t expect, so I truly liked that.

The thing that happened several times in the comic that distracted me, as a proofreader, was the lack of commas where they would have made a sentence more understandable. For instance, “Well done kid” and “Well done, kid” mean two very different things. The first might mean that you’re charbroiling your child, the second that you are congratulating that little one for accomplishing her goal. I know this is going to be perceived as nitpicking, but whenever a fan encounters a reason that might cause them to stop reading, you’re in danger of losing your audience. And it also just looks more professional! Maybe in the trade, that’ll be fixed!

Psircus #1 is available here priced £3.00 in print in the UK, or for $0.99 at Graphicly for a digital copy. You can also learn more about Daniel at his blog located here.

Psircus, P.T. Barnum, Daniel Bell, Katja Lindblom, Ian Buchanan, Icarus

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