My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The third title from the DFC Library that I’ve had the pleasure to review recently, Baggage is a bit of a curiosity. It’s a frenetic burst of energy and activity delivered by the Etherington Brothers in bold busy panels. Randall, a bit of an accident-prone individual, is tasked with returned the oldest item in his warehouse of lost property back to the individual who lost it. Problem is he needs to do this by the end of the day because if he doesn’t, he’ll lose his job.
It’s brilliant, yes, but god it’s busy. There’s a lot going on. I mean a lot. It reads sort of like a Where’s Wally at times and while that’s lovely, it’s not what I want from a comic. I really can’t stand being swept along and then have to stop and gather my senses (I’m very much one for the broad brush strokes and the filmic panels) . However I am very much aware that this is a personal response. I can totally see one of my younger nephews absolutely loving Baggage.
Visually it’s a detailed, pacey piece. It’s got some very lovely “old-school” comic book touches in how they deal with non-verbal sound effects (SLAM!). I also enjoyed how, quite subtly, the lettering shifted to reflect the emotional state of the speaker. There’s a lot of sophistication here.
What I love about Baggage, and the other titles I’ve been able to review in the DFC library, is that they know their audience. There’s the right dose of humour, slapstick and the necessary jokes about bottoms (there’s a cracking visual pun that involves one of Randall’s friends and a poster and how he ends up getting a bit of a, er, bum deal in the situation).