By Patrick Bérubé
August 10, 2012 - 15:15
I rarely buy something based solely on reviews or a buzz created on the web. I know this is ironic since I am myself a comic book critics but over the years I have (unfortunately) narrowed down my buying list to authors whose work I already know. Recently however I became quite curious about Pinkerton after reading rave reviews on websites I consider serious about their cultural knowledge. And I am glad now that I ordered this comic book.
Music fans will immediately associate the name Pinkerton with the Weezer album from the 90's. This comic book is in fact based on this particular album. Two friends find themselves pondering at the relationship between our generation's incapacity for a long term relationship and pop music we grew up with as teens. As it turns out, their conclusion is that one of them will never be able to crawl out of their post-breakup meltdown they do not get over the idea that love is not doomed to fail and that being miserable does not make you more attractive to women as it is clearly depicted in the music they grew up with (Creep by Radiohead, Loser by Beck, etc.). Their plan to overcome this? To triumph over every song of the Pinkerton album which represent for them the perfect example of ''negative romantic conditionning'' nothing less.
The story in Pinkerton is quite original and I think it's what I appreciated the most about this comic book. The authors do seem to have a very good knowledge of music which they use very cleverly throughout the illustrate various situations and their emotional situation. You also get from very early on a good idea of what this comic book is all about and where the whole thing is going. It is rare for a first work to be this well centered on a main idea and that the writer is able to stick with it until it's resolution. I also have to admit that the witty dialogue really did it for me.
Visually, François Samson Dunlop clearly developed a unique style. I was surprised to appreciate it as much as I did since I usually prefer more anatomically accurate characters but I learned a long time ago that an artist with his own style is often way more efficient at telling stories and it is clearly the case here. From the pacing to the layout, everything contributes to makes the story slowly flows toward it's conclusion.
So how good is Pinkerton overall? Probably not Award-level good but it is one of my best discovery in recent months. It is available both in french and in english on the publisher website.
Rating: 8.5 /10