I thought you all might like this, a review of Tainted Reality's "The Fixer." Be gentle, this is my first time. It is free and online at http://www.fixercomic.com/.
For those of you unfamiliar with the series, "The Fixer" is a monthly-released comic book series by Tainted Reality that tells the story of Dakota, a talented musician living in a small rural town in Pennsylvania. He leads a rather simple life playing in his band until he meets Damien, a fellow student at his high school with similar interests and taste in music. From here, a series of events begin to unfold that will lead to great success but also some great tension and regret. From the prologue (issue 0), it's apparent Dakota is destined for greatness, but at a price. "The Fixer" is essentially his account of the events that lead to his current success. The series is currently up to its 6th issue (not including issue 0).
If I had to summarize "The Fixer" in one word, it would be "heart." This series has heart and it fascinates me. When reading the series, it's clear that this story is personal to the creators of the material. It may not be an autobiographical account, but there are various facets of the story and the characters that could reflect personal insight an life experiences. This gives the series a sense of honesty that the reader will catch on to. This, ultimately, gets us involved in the characters of the series since they are now given a sense a reality through the honesty of how the characters are handled and maintained in various situations.
The narrative begins to pick up in later issues after our primary characters are established and the goals become clearer. I found myself becoming more emotionally involved in later issues once our two protagonists begin their primary journey of forming a new band. One of the more exciting elements is the inevitable rise to stardom these characters will have. It's engaging to see the hurdles and, despite knowing the overall outcome, how each event will lead into another on this long journey. It becomes even more exciting knowing that the rise will lead to some turmoil, as hinted upon in the prologue.
The series does have a few weaknesses but nothing crippling that will turn you off the series or render the story not worth the investment. The narrative was designed for a reader like me who doesn't mind extra time being taken to develop character but, depending on the attention of the reader, you might feel areas of the earlier issues drag in their development. This is present mainly with issue 2, possibly the weakest entry. Don't take that at face value since issue 2 is still worth the read and will keep you engaged. It's still a very solid piece and solid continuation of the story but it takes a bit of extra time to establish Dakota's character and lifestyle outside of music. Being so early in the series, this development may come into play later but, as of issue 6, this is where it stands. One other issue was the transition from color to black and white since it made it more difficult to decipher characters from one another, especially once the character of Mamoru is introduced. The first issue uses various color schemes to establish character appearances and keep everyone distinct but it seems issue 2 didn't make the smoothest transition into black and white. This problem is resolved from issue 3 onward once the character designs become a bit more specific and separated. In fact, I forgot the series was initially colored in the first entry.
To Summarize: "The Fixer" is enjoyable and engaging. It's a personal piece most likely referencing the personal thoughts of the artist and writers involved and their views on the music industry, the artisitry of making music, and the overall mainstream perception of music in pop culture. I'm very interested in seeing the direction of the story and how the characters will progress to where the introduction has set-up. While still early in the series, I'm hooked. The fact my heart pumped in excitement at various moments in anticipation is a sign that the series has me right where it wants me. I hope it continues its momentum now that the earlier quirks are out of the way.
Rating as of issue 6: