There are rumors that one of the first stand-alone Star Wars films will be an adventure featuring a young Han Solo. With all due respect to the Disney braintrust...it's already been done by Jim McCann, Janet Lee and Chris Sotomayor.
On March 6, Image Comics will release the first of a four-issue series titled LOST VEGAS, by Eisner-Award winners Jim McCann and Janet Lee. McCann and Lee have come a long way in a fairly short time in their comics career, culminating in the Eisner for Best Graphic Novel in 2011 for their Steampunk fairy tale RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN. McCann, who has worked in television production and previously worked in the marketing department for Marvel, has developed into a very deft storyteller. His current series, also from Image, is MIND THE GAP, an Hitchcockian mystery with supernatural overtones, and has become one of the best cliffhangers around. Lee is a fantastic artist known for her adaptations of Jane Austen books for Marvel, and recently released WONDERLAND ALPHABET. Her award-winning DAPPER MEN art was done in decoupage, a style all but nonexistent in sequential art. McCann and Lee are old friends, and their collaborations reflect that.
However, with LOST VEGAS, McCann and Lee take readers in a very different direction from DAPPER MEN. McCann has combined his love of heist and space adventure films to answer a simple question: instead of owing the casino money, what if when you lost everything you lost...yourself?
Con artist Roland does just that. When he loses everything in a card game, he becomes the property of the LOST VEGAS interstellar casino. After a few years, he believes he has finally figured out the perfect way to escape, and maybe even turn the tables on the casino owners and exact a little revenge. With the assistance of an anthropomorphized blob of black goo known as "ink," Roland plans an escape for himself that has a simple premise: bankrupt the casino.
But that's where everything starts to go wrong when Roland becomes infatuated with the casino's main entertainment draw, the dancer Kaylex. Thinking of Kaylex gets Roland distracted, and in trouble. His friends don't know he's in trouble, and he's suddenly in more trouble than he bargained for. (Did I mention Roland only has 24 hours to pull off the plan?)
LOST VEGAS is a typical Jim McCann story: the first few pages are a little peculiar, and once or twice you might wonder where the story is going, until you realize out of nowhere you've reached the end of the issue...and you're ticked! McCann is a wonderful storyteller and flexes his cliffhanger muscles perfectly. I didn't realize until the very end of issue #1 that he had completely sucked me in, and I don't mind admitting that waiting for issue #2 is going to be frustrating.
Along with McCann's great story is beautiful art from Lee, with colors provided by Chris Sotomayor. For anyone who really doesn't understand what a good colorist can mean to an artist and book, pay special attention to LOST VEGAS. Lee and Sotomayor's two page spread introducing Kaylex is just stunning, and probably my favorite image from the first issue. Lee may only have a few titles under her sequential-art belt, but she is showing once again that her Eisner was well-earned. Her style is perfectly suited to alien design, and Sotomayor's colors complement her designs beautifully.
LOST VEGAS #1 arrives Wednesday, featuring dual covers by Lee and Dan McDaid (artist of a previous Image series, JERSEY GODS), and continues for the following three months. Call or email us before to guarantee your copy.
(Send me an email to jr [at] gameoncomics [dot] com to reserve yourself a copy!)