Trista & Holt is the latest series from Andrez Bergen, creator of such comics as Bullet Gal and Tales to Admonish. It has the same photo-manipulation art style as Bullet Gal, wherein existing photographs are assembled and edited to tell a new story—and provide a gritty, noirish feel, as well. This series, however, takes place in the ’70s, which provides an added visual element in terms of style and fashion. Yep, in Trista & Holt, noir meets disco.
The story is based on the tale of Tristan and Iseult, from 12th century French literature. Only in this version, the genders are reversed. Tristan is now Trista, a hard-boiled and high-ranking member of her Aunt Marcella’s underworld empire. Meanwhile, Iseult becomes Holt, who’s a bit of a drunken mess, at least so far.
We open with a bang, as a building is blown up in a scene reminiscent of Touch of Evil—which happens to have one of the greatest opening scenes in cinema history. The explosion also kills two members of Marcella Cornwall’s organization, and Trista is called in in the aftermath, to get to the bottom of things. Much of this first issue is Trista’s hard-boiled narration, as her aunt rants in increasingly ridiculous ways about how outrageous the entire situation is. It’s gritty noir, to be sure, but there’s also a definite tongue-in-cheek vibe.
If you’re not familiar with the original story of Tristan and Iseult, have no fear. The story is fairly straightforward, and you don’t need a lot of extra background to be able to appreciate it. This first issue has plenty of action and intrigue that anyone can enjoy. Plus, it’s a gender-bending disco noir. You can’t tell me you don’t want to read that.