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‘Slots, Vol. 1’ TPB (review)

Written and Illustrated by Dan Panosian
Published by Image Comics

 

Dan Panosian has been around forever. Recently, I loved his recent cover work which has been pretty much everywhere.

Yet, I can’t remember him ever writing anything of note. That’s what makes this collection all the better. The writing in it is of a seasoned professional. It’s gritty and real and the characters are well developed.

The main character of this book is Stanley Dance, who is a former boxer. Stanley is pretty much on the ropes in his life.

He has no real prospects and his life is basically circling the drain. Panosian shows us this quickly through images without a whole lot of exposition. It’s truly wonderful to see. He really takes the time here to make it as easy as can be for the reader.

Panosian also doesn’t give Stanley much in the way of redeeming qualities.

Yet, we still want to follow him in this book. It starts off with Stanley driving. We are not sure where he is headed. Panosian asks a lot of questions and then slowly reveals the answers with patience.

We eventually see him coming back to Las Vegas. We find out more details. Nobody is happy to see him and they all try to stay away from him. We learn that Stanley has had some kind of falling out with a guy named Les.  Tensions are brewing.

We find out that an old friend of Stanley’s has asked him to come back to Vegas. Apparently there is a new casino trying to put Stanley’s friend out of business. Stanley isn’t having it. So he concocts a plan to take out this new casino and maybe get himself a little redemption.

There’s not a wasted scene here. Watching how Stanley interacts with everyone is perfect and well thought out. Some scenes were just painful. Still, I couldn’t look away.

The ending wasn’t the best. Maybe Panosian left it open for further volumes? I think it fell short here. Still, the writing and art are so good that it’s a small complaint. Slots is a good read and I commend Panosian for doing top notch personal work like this.

RATING: A-

 

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