Friday, November 22, 2013

Thumbprint

  IDW weighs in with another adaptation of a Joe Hill short story, THUMBPRINT. This is a slim little volume, which the cover claims is based upon a "novella" by Hill, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't a short story, and a short short story, at that.


 There's not a lot of story to be had here, and what there is feels pretty dragged out. Mallory Grennan, recently discharged from the Military and home from Iraq, is having a hard time adjusting to civilian life. She did some bad things on her tour of duty (Think Lynndie England and the Abu Ghraib scandal...), and her past may be coming back to haunt her. She's been finding pieces of paper with cryptic thumbprints on them...what could they mean?

 Not much, as it turns out. I was expecting some phenomenal twist that would turn the story on it's ear, but what I got was a potboiler worthy of a 1970's ABC Movie of the Week. In the end, it all amounted to nothing but a big waste of time.

 THUMBPRINT was tepidly adapted from Hill's story by Jason Ciaramella and illustrated by Vic Malhotra, whose shaky, nondescript art does the mediocre tale no favors. This could have been a decent one-shot, but dragged out over three issues, the story becomes nearly unbearable.  And again, I take exception to IDW's pricing structure....three issues collected into a hardcover that retails for $21.99...? There's only 63 pages of story content here...I assume the rest of the 104 pages that the book was solicited as having will be comprised of covers, variant covers, maybe some sketches and script pages? (I can't say for sure, because the review copy that IDW provided only has the story pages, and none of the extra content.) Whatever else is in there, $21.99 is outrageous for three issues worth of story.

 Joe Hill is a talented Writer, and I have no problem recommending his latest novel, NOS4A2. It runs over 700 pages, and can be had for less than this slim, mediocre collection. It's also MUCH better.

 IDW provided a review copy.