!!DISCLAIMER!!: The following is MY opinion. Nothing that I write here is fact, just one mans opinion based on my personal tastes artistically.
OK, so I got my comps from DC, and cracked open the box like I have a thousand times before. I always leaf through the books to see what jumps out at me, cover-wise. As a cover artist I do this all the time. To see what others are doing. More specifically to see what they are doing "right", or "wrong"in terms of cover art. Then I look at cover credits to see if any writers or artists I dig have done anything new. Some months are better than others. I admit, I don't read as much as I did before and even after I became a pro, but Im pretty choosy when it comes to what I do read. Just no time. Especially with a family. So when I see something in the box, or in the rare occasions when I go to a LCS, that tickles my fancy, I open the book up and have a look. After all, kids, these are Comics! So for me it's ALL about the Art ( needs to be a tight, well paced story too ).
So, imagine my pleasant surprise upon opening said box, when right there, on top, was issue #1 of BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #1.
*Now, the reason for my excitement was not necessarily because it's watchmen, or that it was written by Brian Azzarello. But because J.G. Jones is one my favorite Artists/Creators working in Comics. BAM! I love his work. Excellent draftsman, storyteller AND human being.*
So I started to do the cursory "flip-through". You know the deal. Look at all the pretty art, check out the storytelling, poor over the color, and soak it in. Then you give it a read. Sometimes a second if need be. But in this case it was needed. I wasn't sure that I had read everything "right". Or that I fully understood things that were being said/inferred by certain characters. But , YES, I did understand it. And I gotta say, I didn't much care for what I was reading..........
!!!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!!!
Not just as a Pro, but as a Fan, and reader of comics, I have 1 rule when it comes to a mini series that I apply to what I choose to read, and what I choose to produce for consumers:
ISSUE #1 MUST BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE. THERE IS NO ISSUE 2 through ?????!!
You have to nail people in the forehead. Hook them with everything you've got. If not, they likely will not bother with an issue #2. That said, I thought the pacing, the beats, and the content, well...pedestrian. Nothing was really happening. I'm not saying it has to be fist fights and explosions on every page. I'm just saying that I need my attention held. Especially now that the actual story page count of a comic is now at 20. There was a lot of exposition( a bit too much IMO ) and reliance on having a full knowledge of the source material, which doesn't make a Comic, "Reader Friendly". And more exposition. Then more.
Then, the scene that really knocked me backwards was THE COMEDIAN and JACKIE-O having drinks, watching her "Boys" play football, and chatting. So am I made to believe, after reading this scene that JACKIE-O is a mean spirited, scheming succubus, who sneakily infers that, " Drug addled bleach blonde, Bitch -Whores", are a pox on her marriage, and that they should be done away with? Which THE COMEDIAN does on the following page after I assume he has had his way with her,( judging by her nakedness and the fact that he is buttoning up his pants ) and caused/forced her to O.D. on prescription drugs. Then kisses her naked ass with relish as to what he's just done. So in the course of a handful of pages, Azzarello manages to vilify both women quite handily, and in my estimation, quite distastefully. It's a shame, cuz the artwork sure was pretty.
In a time when Comics have a spotlight on them, and more attention given to them by main stream media and the buying public, I think what we need is more ORIGINAL MATERIAL. Not retreads. The "House Brand" or the "Stable" of characters like Batman, Spiderman, etc.. and well known and loved. Give a little attention ,developmental money and Advertising dollars to something fresh. Remeber, Comics is maybe the ONLY part of the entertainment Industry that focuses almost SOLELY on ONE GENRE: Super Heroes.
But then, this is just MY OPINION.