Penny For Your Soul #1
Writer/Creator: Tom Hutchison
Artist: J.B. Neto
Colours/Letters: Oren Kramek
Big Dog Ink
What would you say if I told you that you could sell your soul for $10,000?
If you are like one of the many, many men Danica has exploited for the ownership of their souls all I have to say to you is: Good luck getting out of this one. These women are serious when they say it and with Satan’s daughter running the show, you can be sure that your soul is theirs forever after death.
The Eternity Hotel is like none other you would ever encounter. Even in Las Vegas, this place manages to step up the sex, gambling, and interior design in high volumes making it stand out as completely unique in a city filled with predictable misbehaviours. They manipulate the average man’s want for pretty little things they can control and show-off, in this case women. Women on leashes, in lingerie and at your command – as long as you are willing to give up your afterlife that is.
Come on, how can you go wrong? A beautiful woman offers you a dream weekend for nothing more than a soul that you doubt exists. Really not a huge loss at first view. After your wife kills you for what you did on your Las Vegas trip though, now we’re telling a different story. One much more grim, less sexy, and way more permanent that anything you can imagine. A pretty crap deal in retrospect, I’m sure.
I really wasn’t expecting this story from my judgement of the title and cover. (Although, now that I’ve read it I truly enjoy the irony of both.) Now, I’m not saying this is bad because frankly it was a surprisingly well done book. I do, however, understand that some people didn’t have strict Christian families and schools surrounding them while growing up. If you don’t have that background knowledge you may, in fact, miss out on some of the references to biblical characters throughout and thus understand their characters a large amount less than one who has it.
Do not fear though! With Google at hand, there isn’t an answer or short biographical synopsis that can’t be found for each and every one of them. I’ll even give you the first of what I’m sure will be many throughout this series: Maggie aka Mary Magdalene, the woman my parents so jokingly refer too as Jesus’ Hoe. That greatly depends on what you perceive of her though, I’ve also heard great things about her – More scarcely but, none the less.
Normally, I’m not one to be fond of purely digital media, it often times feels wrong and over done, the team of Neto and Kramek, however, have managed to thus far have me pretty convinced on it’s potential for a quality product. The shadowing they have achieved looks very realistic and pleasing to the eye. While unlike other purely digital media art I’ve consumed, the colouring isn’t over done. Kramek does a great job of enhancing the image with the brighter tones rather than overwhelm it with intense darkness and bleach white detailing all over the page. The outlining is a lot looser than those normally seen in comics, especially that of a more cartooned realism styling. This brought a huge amount of depth into every image and a smoother contrast between the character’s and their surroundings. It’s really beautiful to see.
Overall, reading the first issue of Penny For Your Soul has been a pretty unique and satisfying experience. At no point did I feel over or underwhelmed with information and back story; which was quite a relief coming into a first issue. The writer has taken a very brave and clear path toward showing the reader what this hotel represents and just how much trouble Satan and his baby-girl can cause here on planet Earth while running a sexy hotel. I haven’t been this interested any material in relation to my parents religion ever, I’ll have to let them know! I’m sure it will be a proud moment for them. (Or not?)
For it’s bible references that give me some hope my childhood wasn’t wasted on useless knowledge, overall intriguing tale and impressive art, Penny for Your Soul #1 gets 8.5 failed commandments out of 10. (I wonder if that’s enough to get into heaven?)
- Satanic Hell Number 1(comicsforge.com)