Story: James Patrick
Art: Marco Locati
Letterer: Rachel Deering
What They Say:
Sonny Campisi is a small-time fixer for the mob-controlled neighborhood of Green Village. If you don’t pay your gambling debt, he’ll come and collect. If you get a little rough with one of “the girls,” he gets a little rough with you. But when a dragon flies into town and Sonny is the one who’s tasked with getting rid of it, it’s a problem unlike any he’s ever faced, and a chain of events begins that will affect everyone who lives in that neighborhood. Especially Sonny.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
James Patrick definitely made me a good bit of a fan with his Kaiju Score work so I was definitely curious as to what he had lined up next, especially with AfterShock Comics. His writing style works well for me and this one is definitely narration heavy, which slows me down nicely and allows me to immerse myself more into the world. For this series, he’s paired up with Marco Locati on the artwork and he captures the “neighborhood” feeling well as well as the style and look of our lead in Campisi himself. It’s got the right low-level mob thing going for it in how he looks but also the whole “mob that cares” thing that generally makes them a part of the community.
For the opening issue, most of it is given over to showing what Sonny Campisi goes through in a normal day in just checking in on everything that goes on in the neighborhood he watches over of Green Village. It’s a nice place and he’s got a good relationship with most of the shop owners and plays well with the kids when they come into view. When a pair of them have a bucket of chicken from a chain, he chides them for not buying local and to make sure that they hide it. We see how he operates in his normal course of duties as well and there’s an easy professionalism there of the friendly variety that makes him perfect for this role in how he interacts. The down, of course, is that he can get a little too close to people over the years.
The book does introduce us to dragons right from the start, showing how in the past that they had flown west to have a place to be and live out quietly. It gives you the impression that they never existed or died out ages ago, but they do exist in the here and now and one has now taken nest in a building in the neighborhood after a flyby. This is disconcerting to everyone but we also see how most of them kind of go on with their day, not giving it much mind. The creatures do exist in the modern world but they’re problematic in places like this, which is why it’s no surprise that Sonny gets tasked with getting rid of it, but something makes it clear this isn’t going to be easy and Sonny may find himself on the side of the dragon more than those in the village.
Compared to the big scale of Kaiju Score, Campisi is a very low-key affair that eases us into this world and makes sure that we know that things have been real all along. I like the script as we get it and the heavy narration makes for a fun read in general as you get to know Campisi and his approach to serving the neighborhood and his bosses. The dragon itself gets little time overall but what we do get is intriguing and has me really curious to see what the true direction of the book is. Locati’s artwork is great as it really fits the material and his take on both the location and the dragon is great but he had to capture Campisi the most and in the right way for this to work, and I think he does.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: August 11th, 2021