Written by: Kody Chamberlain

Art by: Kody Chamberlain

Publisher: Image Comics

Creating and producing a comic book is much more difficult than people realize, I’d go as far as to say more difficult than even the most loyal comic book readers realize. And this isn’t even taking into account if the finished product is any good.

Typically it takes the team of a writer and an artist; the writer churns out pages of intrigue, witty banter, and a little action; the artist than articulates the script through jaw-dropping images. I’m not even kidding when I say this is over-simplying the process. Needless to say, there is a reason why only a handful of professionals get paid to write and draw these wonderful books.

Now, with all of this in mind, it’s even rarer to find the exceptional comic book creators who can write AND draw a successful comic book. I can only think of a few that make the list – Jeff Lemire, Adrian Tomine, Doug Tenapel, Bob Fingerman, and Ted McKeever. I’ve recently found another. Kody Chamberlain.

Kody Chamberlain’s SWEETS is a fresh take on the murder mystery genre. The story follows a spree of murders occurring in New Orleans, days before Hurricane Katrina is to make landfall. Detective Curt Delatte is mourning the death of his daughter, but like any hard-nosed cop defined by the badge, he masks his grief when the body count starts rising. With time running out to solve the crimes, Detective Delatte must piece together the puzzling evidence he collects down in the Big Easy, before all of his hard work is literally washed away.

As I was reading these issues, the natural intrigue that is generated from any good mystery was building very nicely. I couldn’t put it down. Chamberlain’s skill as a writer truly shines brighter with every issue. It is very well paced which clearly shows the time that must have been put into polishing the script before a pencil ever hit the page. I enjoyed the very distinct voices with each character. Everyone sounded grounded and believable.

Chamberlain’s art creates a very unique tone for a very unique situation. Having spent four years in the south (Savannah, GA), I immediately related to the unique vibe that the south exudes, and he captures the unique environment that undoubtedly exists in New Orleans. I give major props for his ability to draw distinctly different characters. This is not easy, but the artists that have the range to draw all types of people, create a much more tangible world that could exist right out your door. The wonderful display of subdued analogous, complimentary, and even split complimentary color schemes for the main storyline; then a bold secondary color scheme for the b storyline worked remarkably well. Very creative.

Overall, if anyone enjoys a thrilling read that executes a stellar story with beautiful art, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Kody Chamberlain’s SWEETS. To put it another way: I have never possessed anything even closely resembling a sweet tooth, but the experience of reading this book was so palpable, I found myself wanting a good ol’ fashioned pecan praline after I was done.

Rating: (4.5/5)

SWEETS #1-4 on shelves now.

SWEETS #5 Available Feb. 16th.