One Bad Day

Marie and her buddy Justin are hanging out, chatting and buying cigarettes, when she sees an old friend get hit by a van. This disturbing coincidence puts in motion a chain of events that will force her to commit acts previously unthinkable when she’s only trying to get to a cousin’s birthday party that she’s been guilt-tripped into attending. There’s also a bald hit man, his shallow girlfriend, a shady transaction, and several guns and chase scenes.

One Bad Day cover
One Bad Day
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Marie is a regular girl. She tries to do the right thing in cases where that’s as simple as acknowledging a greeting or trying to contact an injured friend’s parents. It’s not her choices that bring about violence; instead, it’s a comment on how close to the edge we live without noticing. Our society isn’t the safe fiction we like to believe it is. Terrible things can happen to decent people without them deserving it.

At the same time, the reader remains aware that this is a story. It’s plausible, but for many of us, this is the closest we’ll come to this kind of violence. There’s a thrill to experiencing that roller coaster without having to deal with the consequences.

Rolston’s cartoon-like style maintains the reader’s separation. Through its simplicity, it reminds us that this is a simplified view of events, selected by the author. Rolston doesn’t skimp on details or backgrounds, though, and the pacing is excellent. The dark green and white printing makes the book distinctive without interfering with readability.

“Light-hearted” is a strange adjective to use for a crime thriller, but that’s the unusual achievement demonstrated here. Rolston has created a fun adventure read that shows how easy it is to have a really bad day.

Steve Rolston has a website, and preview pages can be found at the Oni Press website.

Rolston has also illustrated
Pounded, a punk rock soap opera, written by Brian Wood
Mek, written by Warren Ellis (and published as a flipbook with Reload)
Queen & Country: Operation Broken Ground, written by Greg Rucka, winner of the 2002 Will Eisner Award for Best New Series
Queen & Country Scriptbook Volume 1, written by Greg Rucka
– a short story in Four-Letter Worlds, written by Jay Faerber, about an apartment dweller sensitive to noise.

4 Responses to “One Bad Day”

  1. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Steve Rolston (One Bad Day) was a terrific choice to start the series. His clear-line style is so easy to read that one forgets how much skill is involved. He starts the book by establishing the home base of the Minders, a combination shared office and command center, in detail, and he keeps the conversations used to establish the premise visually interesting. The jumpy camera angles also set up a feeling of uncertainty and rapid pressure to make the right life-changing decisions. […]

  2. Minx Now and Future » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] They do plan seven books for 2008, including work by Joelle Jones (12 Reasons Why I Love Her) and Steve Rolston (One Bad Day). […]

  3. SPX 2008 Graphic Novels: Slowpoke, Baby-Sitters Club 4, Soddyssey, Emiko Superstar, more » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] read it because I like Steve Rolston’s (One Bad Day) art. He draws the cuddliest pierced punks, all round faces and non-threatening features. The […]

  4. Annick Press Kids’ Books Cover Unusual Topics » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] written by Tanya Lloyd Kyi illustrated by Steve Rolston […]




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