I picked up Super Spy at the Decatur Book Festival last month. I was talking with the guys at the Top Shelf Comics booth, asking them to steer me away from ennui and towards something a bit more exciting. This was their pick of the pile, on the genre fiction side of the spectrum. Matt Kindt‘s book is a spy novel.
It story starts off really well, and then settled down to a comfortable “good.” The different chapters jump around in time, changing focus among a cast of characters whose stories intertwine. The pace of the storytelling is very quick. People you get to know in 4 or 5 panels are dispatched a page or two later. I don’t think I spoil much by saying it happens a lot. Lots of dispatching. Or that’s how it seemed when I was reading.
The art gave me pause for a second, but grew on me. It’s not super-realistic or refined, but more slashy and dramatic, lots of contrast and rough edges and changes in perspective. It’s a muted palette throughout. The design of the book is pretty cool. Each chapter is a dossier and the space behind the panels is colored to look like a worn folder. In one scene, a death in the panels is underscored with blood spatter in the gutters:
Nice detail there. The whole thing is worth a look. Here are some sample pages from Super Spy.