Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Confession: I detest so-called reality TV. I have a co-worker who loves Survivor and feels compelled to tell me all about every episode no matter how often I tell him I hate all those damn shows (or worse yet, Duck Dynasty).

Therefore for the most part, I avoid comics with a reality TV angle. That aspect, or more specifically my misperception of their application of it, almost made me skip out on Season of the S.H.A.R.K. altogether. But the creative team (Ed Ryzowski and Jeff Dabu) is from Winnipeg so I gave it a shot on that basis.
The series centers around, Shelby, Francis, Cooper and "The Chief".  Four members of a secret, yet sadly woefully underfunded, government agency.  So underfunded in fact, that the S.H.A.R.K.'s Chief of Operations has made a deal with a film crew allowing them access to his agents as they attempt to both protect and serve their country, and further their own personal agendas. Which in the case of this first four issue installment involves recovering a stolen formula for invulnerability (which one of their own team not only discovered, but also inadvertently utilized) so that they can in turn sell it and finally retire from their high-risk / low-pay death defying jobs forever.
So it's more like Modern Family or Trailer Park Boys in format than something like Survivor or...huh...the one that takes place in a house (the name truly escapes now and I don't care).  It's not some competition or contest, rather you're watching the story unfold with the occasional interview segment thrown in.

I was a long way to being won over right from the first page when...

C.S.I.S.! I actually sat there for a moment and tried to remind myself where I'd heard that before because it was so unexpected.  Stories based around a "government agency" seldom refer to the Canadian government, at least in indie comics. I didn't expect this book to either, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Mind you, they offered S.H.A.R.K. ID badges as perks during their Kickstarter campaign. Those said "This card is the property of the Canadian goverment" at the bottom. You don't exactly need to be Batman to process that clue. Maybe the spy game just isn't my thing.

In any event, among the characters we have the experienced, tough, ass-kicker in Shelby...

While Francis is the scientist / inventor who unexpectedly finds herself thrown into the field. She takes to it with great enthusiasm but is clearly out of her element. Shelby and Francis are pretty much polar opposites, something the writers do a good job of playing up for comedy.

This book was a blast. It's the first of four issues to be released on a bi-monthly schedule. If you're hearing about it for the first time and missed out on the Kickstarter campaign as an opportunity to get the books, you can purchase a digital version of the first issue on the Season of the S.H.A.R.K. website.

I don't know if there'll be a Kickstarter campaign for a second series but if so I want one of those ID Badges. For that matter, if the badges are added to the site's online store, I'll pony up for one. That was an excellent perk idea for a book about a top secret, if largely inept and financially broke, Canadian spy agency. May S.H.A.R.K. have many, many seasons.

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