I Can Sell You A Body #1 Review

by Jay Hill on December 31, 2019

Written & lettered by: Ryan Ferrier
Art & colors by: George Kambadais
Published by: IDW Publishing

Denny sees ghosts sometimes. Lucky for him, he can use that psychic gift for selfish monetary gain. But his conniving ways have caught up with him. Now, he is in danger of losing his life and becoming one of those ghosts.

The main character, Denny Little, is a weaselly, grasping, and self-destructive guy. Although his powers of psychic communication are legit, he couldn’t help himself from overpromising the ability to restore the soul of a dead mob boss back to the land of the living. This is where the problem comes in because the person he promised that service to, the new boss and son of the dead one, has given Denny 100 grand for the still unfinished deed. Where the money went is a mystery, but the personality we’re shown of Denny makes it totally understandable that he squandered it. He now has two days to raise the money (with interest) and the dead mob boss (from the grave). This is the situation all of Denny’s escapades revolve around. Denny is sort of a likable loser. He’s not shown doing anything too harsh, but the decisions he makes are always about third from the bottom on a list of possible bad choices. He seems to be the creator of all his own problems. Although, he is shown doing a good deed that gives a glimmer of hope that he can get it together in time to save his life. 

Writer Ryan Ferrier does a great job of displaying Denny with all his faults and strengths (bold and uppercase “faults”). And, he built a world with a fresh feeling. The interactions we’re shown between Denny and the spirits are some of the best parts of this issue. But, I feel, the tone isn’t fully cohesive yet. The humor, drama, and emotion of the story are all given little peeks in this issue but don't come together to display a definitive voice. There are some quite funny scenes. One, in particular, is a full-page gag that is brilliantly set up in dialogue on the previous page and has a unique execution but isn’t indicative of the rest of the humor throughout. I can only guess, since Ferrier wrote the scene in the first place, it is indicative of jokes he’ll do in future issues, but it felt like a one-off in this one. The “emotional” scene (the specific emotion being “love”) also seems to have been a victim to the amount of time given to it. It presents the idea of an emotional element while growing Denny’s character, but it doesn’t flourish as it could have. The drama is what this issue delivers on the best. The main problem of raising the money is one I enjoyed seeing this character have to deal with. Then, the cliffhanger ends with hints of an even larger plot, one that, as it seems will be the trend, Denny completely brought on himself. But I do say it lacks cohesion “yet” since I do feel it has all the signs of a story that can reach greater heights. It has a refreshing feeling that seems to be only found in creator-owned or independent comics, and I believe that I Can Sell You a Body can end up being something quite special.

When I first looked into this comic, the first thing that struck me was George Kambadais’ art. He has a unique style and a wonderfully creative eye. He seems very confident with that style and is not afraid to go to new places with it. He also provides the colors for his art, so that added level of cohesion makes it all the more gorgeous. The way he designs characters is crisp and modern. The variety in those designs is seen best in the scenes with Denny interacting with ghosts. The coloring used for the spiritual essence of the ghosts, their illuminated eyes, and how Denny is displayed using his powers adds an eye-popping dose of flair to the comic’s atmosphere. And, the coloring is used well at times to invoke a particular mood. Although, in the “romantic” scene, I felt the coloring didn’t match the tone. The strongest tool Kambadais uses is his shadows and silhouettes. The shading in each scene is spot on and is what builds up the visual aura of I Can Sell You a Body. Kambadais does this cool effect of stripping black lines on characters which is a cool signature. With this issue not having many large-scale shots, I’d love to see what he can do with a full page.

I Can Sell You a Body #1 is a unique and interesting comic. Denny Little is a joy to watch mess things up and then try to fix them. The characters (both living and dead) and the world (both physical and metaphysical) we’re introduced to represent a sea of possibilities. This comic has a voice that is only found when creators are given the chance to tell the stories they want to. The art inside is insanely stylish and brilliantly brings to life its world of ghosts. If you’re looking to start the fresh year with a fresh comic, I highly recommend this one.

Our Score:


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