Written and Illustrated by: Chip Zdarsky.
Edited by: Allison O’Toole
Published by: Image Comics
Public Domain is a tale of family, creative rights and the somewhat cynical world of certain cinematic universes (I wonder which companies this book might be taking a bit of a swipe at) brought to us by Chip Zdarsky, the co-creator of independent comic series Sex Criminals, writer of mainstream series such as his well-received run on Daredevil (and also his Jughead run from a few years ago, that series slapped).
Right now, I don’t want to give much away. The ending of this issue is the revelation that I can see the series being orientated around so I won’t touch that, but as this first issue feels like an introduction to the world we’re entering, I’ll go there. This tale seems to be orientated around a range of characters, but in particular the Dallas family, mostly the father and his two sons. Syd Dallas made a great comic that went on to great things. Heck it’s even got a movie coming out! How great is that? I bet Syd must be rolling in it right?
Well like so many before him (such as Siegel, Shuster and Moore) he doesn’t own the rights. A decent man who simply wants his hard work to be appreciated, the anger at this injustice comes from his son Miles, one of two brothers who personally feels, let’s say, angry at the way his father has not been appreciated for his iconic character known as the Domain. Thrown into the mix is brother Davey who seems to be a bit of a free slob, You’ve got a family tale that mixes dysfunction, deep chats when possible and a lot of love.
The story is, like I said, building to something. We’re shown the main players in this tale. Who might be the heroes, the villains and everyone in between. I’ve read the first volume of Sex Criminals and I do think both stories tap into a grounded tale of people living lives and facing what feels insurmountable odds (although unlike Sex Criminals, none of the characters have paused time by climaxing so far, that would be a weird revelation).
I am really intrigued by how this looks like as a whole. The art is similar to Sex Criminals, which works. The faces are where the art stands out but I think that in a story about a family which deep down cares for each other, it really needs to be.
I’m going to see where this goes. If you don’t want to collect issue to issue, buy the trade gosh darn it!!!