Wahoo Morris is the story of a band from Craig A. Taillefer, someone who clearly knows what that’s like. Sebastien, the guitarist, has a crush on the new singer, Alicia, an animal lover with an interest in the occult. He’s trying to figure out how to get to know her better (after an aborted attempt at a kiss) while balancing the band, his work inking comic books, and his day job at a grocery store.
Meanwhile, Chas, his childhood friend and the band’s bass player, keeps teasing him about the two of them getting together. Does her forward physicality mean that she’s interested in being more than friends? Or is she just an outgoing, independent woman?
The figure work is solid. The facial expressions and body language convey the character’s personality quirks beautifully while firm lines and solid blacks anchor the pages. For example, there’s an interesting parallel revelation of Sebastien and Alicia’s thoughts about each other, with their corresponding dreams conveyed through collages of changing images. I’m also thrilled to see Alicia drawn with the waif body type; she’s a pleasant change from the generally overdeveloped comic book female.
There’s a strong fantasy element in the book. We keep getting hints of something strange happening in Alicia’s apartment involving a magic mirror, but I’d rather see more about the band; they’re fascinating on their own. Band members gripe at each other, picking old nits and teasing each other about their tastes in food and bad habits. Both of the leads are obsessively worried, Sebastien about screwing up things with Alicia, Alicia about whether she’s going insane.
Audio is tough to capture visually, but the first few pages show the full experience of live music: the sound, the noise, the crowd, the bar, the excitement. The lyrics are used to fill in background space in order to suggest being surrounded by the music. Later, the band is interviewed on a local radio show in a clever device to elaborate on the characters.
You can read sample pages online at the Wahoo Morris website. Wahoo Morris is a great read for anyone looking for slice-of-life stories involving realistic characters.