Mayday #1

by Forrest.H on April 29, 2015

Writer: Curt Pires
Artist: Chris Peterson
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Release Date: April 29, 2015
Cover Price: $3.99
On my second read through of Curt Pires and Chris Peterson’s Mayday #1, out today from Black Mask Studios, I thought to myself “Okay, but is it just cultural reference masturbation?” and the answer is yes. Mayday succeeds, though, because it doesn’t pretend that it isn’t just that. Instead, everything about it is built on that very foundation as it throws us into the cocaine dust coated world of an award winning filmmaker on a violent path.

In the first 1/3rd of this issue, there are literal and figurative references to both The Great Gatsby and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Both are books that have entered our cultural lexicon because they’re so indicative of the culture, attitudes and lifestyles of their respected time periods (the 20s for Gatsby and the 60-70s for Fear and Loathing).
Mayday tells you, subconsciously, that it’s almost a companion piece to those two literary giants because, like they did, it encapsulates American culture at this specific moment in time for better or worse, Kanye references and all.

It reads like a sister story to one of my favorite comics of the past few months, POP, also by Pires. The tone, narration, focus and narrative tricks are all indicative of that story and for a second, it almost seems TOO similar but there are enough differences here to warrant the existence of both.

The lofty cocaine and ketamine fueled psychedelic influenced look at our current cultural zeitgeists and juggernauts is Pires’ forte. Here, it’s no different. There’s some awkward narrative transitions and tonal shifts but, for the most part, the writing is crisp, awe-inspiring (I love those all black pages Pires does) stuff that comes across as part satire and part heartfelt love letter to America where it is right now.

Peterson brings it to life with all of these perfectly timed frame breaks and visceral moments, too. The Warhol-esque final fight scene is one of the coolest things I’ve seen recently and it perfectly fits the tone Pires has established with his scripting, too. Fear and Loathing works as a movie as much as Mayday’s works as a comic under Peterson’s pen which is to say, very well.

When Kanye said “Cause who the kids gon listen to huh? I guess me, if it isn’t you” he was talking about Lauryn Hill. When Pires and Peterson say the same thing with Mayday, they’re talking about Hunter S. Thompson and maybe even Fitzgerald a bit. I love them for it and, that comparison is intentionally over the top as much as Mayday itself is over the top, Which is to say, wonderfully so. 

Our Score:


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