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‘Love Town #1:’ Comic Book Review

“Love Town is a city built upon a foundation of corruption, violence, and greed, where millionaire celebrities rub shoulders with ruthless gangsters and scheming politicians, where the figurative magic of the silver screen competes with the literal magic of the streets.

Magic is the siren’s song that lures so many in Love Town to their doom…”

Love Town, or Los Amores, is at the crossroads where fantasy and noir meet in this new series from the creative minds of John and Matt Yuan who shared writing and art duties.  An ode to the idealized 1940s Los Angeles, Love Town is filled with magic and monsters – ghouls, werewolves and vampires – otherwise known as the “infected.”

If you read the debut issue #0 (Check out my review.), then you have already been introduced to Detective Saxon (a two-week-old vampire) and her senior (human) partner nicknamed Subs.  In issue #1, readers catch up with the two detectives knee-deep with a handful of suspects and a high-profile dead body.  New to the team is Officer Regan, a by-the-book detective who butts heads with Saxon but seems to have a rapport with Subs.

Love Town is one of the smartest and most cinematic comic book series available today.  The writing is succinct, which is a feat given the nature of the noir: lots of talking, filled with layers of “deductive” reasoning, and seasoned liberally with intelligent banter.  As with the genre, every character has a titillating backstory and, of course, some deep flaw that is readily apparent or revealed when peeling back their public face.  Without revealing too much, Love Town incorporates the requisite police subterfuge, but themes of prejudice and manifest destiny are also explored.  Editor Ken F. Levin rounds out the creative team, and his contribution is seamless and fluid.

As mentioned in my review of issue #0, the art style is on par with Frank Miller’s seminal Sin City, yet instead of lots of black space, the Yuan Brothers successfully evoke noir with their expertise of using white space.  The panel layouts pack heat; they incite their own cinematic punch and are visually stunning.  The speech balloons harmonize with the rest of the visual experience and, like Levin’s editing, does not draw attention to itself but rather fits perfectly to create a whole package.

Published by 1First Comics, this indie title gives the well-known mainstream publishers a run for their money.  Yes, Love Town is THAT solid, delivering a 10-out-of-10 reading (and viewing) experience.  While fans of noir and monsters will naturally gravitate towards this title, this title should be on every comic book reader’s list.  Do not walk – run as though the bullets are flying and a pack of monsters are nipping at your heels and get to 1First Comics’ website for your own copy of Love Town!

Creative Team: John Yuan and Matt Yuan (writers); John Yuan (artist); Matt Yuan (shading); Ken F. Levin (editor)
Publisher: 1First Comics
Click here to check out 1First Comics catalog.

Michele Brittany, Fanbase Press Contributor



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