The Black Diamond: Get in the Car and Go trade paperback
Writer: Larry Young
Artist/Colors: Jon Proctor
Cover photographer: Mimi Rosenheim
Publisher: AiT/Planet Lar
Price: $19.95 US
AiT/Planet Lar graphic novels have always been worth a look. Publishers Larry Young and Mimi Rosenheim have an eye for unusual projects and strong creative voices. Among the talent they’ve worked with are now high-profile names in the industry, such as Matt (Invincible Iron Man) Fraction and Brian (DMZ) Wood. AiT/Planet Lar first got off the ground with Young’s Astronauts in Trouble title, and he returned to writing comics recently with this title, collected here. While AiT/Planet Lar was built mainly on the philosophy of publishing original graphic novels, it’s strayed from that model from time to time, and this is the most recent instance of that. I liked the premise of The Black Diamond in that its premise flows from socio-political issues, and that real-world, smart quality is to be found throughout this book. Unfortunately, the story is derailed in part by the artwork. Jon Proctor’s stiff illustration is appealing at times, but the action doesn’t unfold clearly at all. Without vital cues in the dialogue, there are times when it’s impossible to tell what’s going on. The story’s pacing is a bit off as well, but I’m pretty sure I understand why that might have been something of a necessary evil.