Jon Pay: Bullets, Babes & By-Lines

 JPBL   (BDP, 2003)

™ and © BDP Comics

Aabø wowed the crowd at Wizard World Chicago 2001, when he quietly showed his first Jon Pay comic. Exquisitely blending caricature and detail, his rookie effort was a comically delightful take on the hard-boiled world of gangsters, girls, and private eyes. Unfortunately, it was also a teasingly short one, and, not anticipating any great response, Aabø had no immediate plans for a follow-up.

The response was more favorable than he expected—critically, if not commercially. And Aabø has finally managed to assemble another delightful installment, with much the same flavor as the first but no less enjoyable. In fact, it’s actually better, by virtue of this issue’s longer story (17 pages, versus the previous issue’s 11) as well as the enlistment of friend and “script doctor” Rob Román. Recognizing his own shortcomings, Aabø sucks it up and lets Román tighten up and embellish the dialogue, and this collaboration ratchets the comedy up a notch from the last issue. (“They got me good, boss!” “These are button holes, you idiot!”)

Aabø is the kind of talent who could make a Bugs Bunny-Wolverine crossover believable. If there was ever a talent to watch, he’s it. Fans should check out Jon Pay before the big publishers lure him in.

— Jim Johnson

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 C.A. Aabo, Rob X. RománC.A. Aabo