Snap Flash Hustle #1 Review

by Nathan Koffler on December 05, 2018

Writer: Pat Shand
Artist: Emily Pearson
Publisher: Black Mask

Snap Flash Hustle #1 is one of those debut issues that reminds me why I love independent comic books as much as I do. Obviously, I have nothing against superhero comics from the big publishers, but as I have said at times before, those are not really my thing. Snap Flash Hustle, however, is right up my interests’ alley. This story and this art works best from independent comic book creators who are writing and illustrating their nontraditional vision.

Speaking of freshness, I have to start by sharing my adoration of Emily Pearson’s beautiful and unique style of artwork. Her visuals in this series aren’t just gorgeous, they extraordinarily fit perfectly with the narrative. The story of a struggling model and her run-in with criminal models is unique by itself, and Pearson adds a tone to that interesting story with illustrations that make every single panel look like a painting. The pale coloring of the issue plays an even bigger part in setting this tone in my opinion.

I knew Snap Flash Hustle writer Pat Shand’s work best from the horror series Breathless, which is a fantastic series that I would absolutely recommend checking out if you haven’t. One of the things that I loved most about Breathless is how when I first read through the first issue, I already felt like I connected with the main character, I felt like I just got off a roller coaster ride, and I was immediately fiending for more. I remember finishing Breathless #1 and thinking to myself, “Pat Shand could have easily taken this already interesting concept of a story and lazily made that story reek with predictability. But instead, I was exhilarated and on the edge of my seat the whole time.”

That is similar to my reaction after reading Snap Flash Hustle #1, but the difference is that even this story’s main concept is very special and uncommon all by itself. The idea was compelling before I opened the book, so I could only become more impressed as I read through the first issue. Sure enough, as I read, I was immediately hooked in a way that seems different than most other comic book series that I like at the moment. I found myself being more blown away by the storytelling and the artwork with every single panel that I gazed upon. I can’t even describe how much I am in desperate need of more of this series already!

One of the many things that I enjoyed so much about this first issue is how we met the characters. Firstly, Haley is a fantastic vulnerable main character to be introduced to. She is beautiful, she’s great at modeling, and she is in massive trouble because of her debt. Despite any trouble that she is in, Haley has a boldness that is extremely relatable and her desire to become a part of anything illegal as of right now seems to only come from her desperation. (I am totally okay if I find out that she becomes a mighty crime boss in the future too. It may even make me like her more, but who knows?”)

Secondly, the little bit that we saw of Jamie made me want to know so much more about her. She seems silly and sweet and definitely seems like she is a lot of fun to be around. Thirdly, Coral completely took every bit of the spotlight for me while reading this issue. I am already absolutely obsessed with her and am also already racking my brain with questions about her. For example, she seemed sweet, even while conducting some hardcore threatening. I originally thought that that was her being the caring model who works in crime that she is. But through the last few pages of the issue, I began appreciating her more for her badass evilness and questioned how real the comfort that she gave to Haley was. Was she actually just being a talented criminal leader and doing what she needed to do to make Haley talk? These are a few of the thoughts that were going through my mind while I became infatuated with this intense character of Coral.

Snap Flash Hustle’s debut is powerful and bold as it dispenses drama, sexuality, and crime fiction all wrapped neatly inside a single beautiful issue. Shand’s writing will keep you excitedly reading while Pearson’s artwork will keep your eyes focused on every panel.

Our Score:


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