Deer Editor is about no nonsense, straight-talking deer, Bucky who is out seeking the Sheltered Cove’s next big story for the crime beat in ‘The Truth’. In #1, Bucky is led to believe there is a conspiracy surrounding the death of a government official. She may well have been hiding something. Was she aware that she was guarding that with her life? Bucky’s out there looking for clues. Unfortunately, by the end of #1, he is left with more questions than answers and his political intrigue lands him in trouble. In #2, Bucky’s sub-editor, Dan picks up the pieces to discover a little more about what’s really going on.
This story is not a typical crime noir; antler noir is cleverly tailored in way that makes Bucky an outsider, who begins as an observer and then a pursuer of a dark and twisted human scenario where something isn’t quite right. Bucky is that cynical hero of the noir genre and he has his quirks. Those antlers make for great defence and the way in which he may follow his nose for clues is actually not done in a way which feels silly. I really liked Bucky’s clear narrative, which features throughout the comic and the small deer icon alongside this adds a nice touch. This makes the comic easy to follow.
By the end of #1, you may be left thinking that things surely couldn’t get any worse, unfortunately they do. The story develops a darker tone in #2 and introduces a vampire and I would point out that this isn’t a spoiler as this is presented on the Kickstarter page. You may think that the antler noir and vampire themes clash. However, when you read Deer Editor #2, you wouldn't think much of this and Bucky has a wonderful quote “In a world where I exist, I have to allow anything else to be possible”.
In places, I found some of the slang a little tricky to understand but this isn’t too much of a problem. It gives Bucky, along with the swearing, an anarchic character with edge, who is daring and is not afraid to go against the rules. All art work by Sami Kavelä, is black and white, which creates a subtle irony that the subject matter is anything but this. Therefore, Deer Editor takes a different approach to conveying a crime noir feel, which often feature washed out water colours.
Sami is clearly is a fan for details where it matters, such as when setting the scene or illustrating what’s on the table or at the bar. Panels show scenes and characters, particularly Bucky, from lots of different angles and this gives Deer Editor a dynamic feel. This is very respectable as Bucky has a well thought and fairly elaborate anthropomorphic character design. The format, in terms of how panels are presented is generally consistent but page 9, #2 is an acceptation to the rules. I felt that speech in the right-hand column could be better presented, so it’s easier to deduce what certain characters are saying.
Overall, despite the dark subject matter, Deer Editor is entertaining to read. The series thus far is very thought-provoking and there are invaluable squeamish moments which make you want to keep reading. Those moments remind me of when James Bond seems to land himself in some desperate situations. Bucky and Dan come to light as heroes, who will go the extra mile to reveal the truth and it would be really interesting to read further issues and find out how pieces of the mysterious jigsaw fit together.
Keen to learn more about Deer Editor? Please read my interview with Ryan K Lyndsay: