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‘Endless Summer, Vol. 1: Dead Man’s Curve’ (review)

Written by B. Clay Moore
Art by Shane Patrick White
Published by Insight Comics

 

Endless Summer: Dead Man’s Curve has plenty of style and energy. It’s a gorgeous book, full of beautiful sunshine that feels great to read on unseasonably cold spring day. Yet it suffers from being a bit too crowded and not fully servicing any one character. As a story, it has a wide scope but not a particular deep one.

Lonnie serves as our way into this 60’s California beach story. He finds that just wanting to play in a band comes with its own complications. A raucous night that ends in near tragedy finds him in the crosshairs of a government agent, Scott Ivory.

As we dig deeper, we find that Ivory is a less than honorable agent.  He has enlisted a group of beach denizens, musicians and surfers, to infiltrate the drug scene. However, with other agencies looking to interfere, and funding drying up for Scott Ivory, choices are made. Your typical crosses and double crosses ensue.

Will Lonnie survive as the same kid who just wants to play music?

The basic story that B. Clay Moore has, a 60’s-based tale of noir and subterfuge, could be truly great. The story around the edges, the story of Lonnie falling under the influence of the corrupt Ivory, is where it works best. The story of a young idealist falling under a cynical mentor has been told before. With several other threads flowing through this tale, the Lonnie/Ivory is the only one that clicks. But that story disappears for too long. There are other characters that just don’t feel as interesting. The focus sticks with these other supporting characters. With characters that are less compelling, the story loses momentum.

The choices that Shane Patrick White makes does give the book a jolt.

The 60’s beach scene comes alive. The colors are warm and inviting, yet the seedier scenes really has the reader feeling the grime. The details, the angles, all have you there in California. For a story that did not really move me, I still found myself enjoying the art and just staying in this place.

Endless Summer: Dead Man’s Curve has moments where it stands out, but an unfocused story has it falling just short. But it is a gorgeous book to look at.

 

 

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