Comic Review: "Art Ops, How to Start a Riot"
Last week, I bought a comic book that was so amazing I read it from start to finish in an hour. It's called "Art Ops: How To Start A Riot." It's written by Shaun Simon and illustrated by Michael Allred. I chose to buy the book (with all six parts) instead of buying them individually.
The story is about a secret organization known as the "art Ops" whose mission is to protect art. But not the aesthetics of art, or the preservation. Their mission is to protect the life and guard the secret that art is real. Living, breathing. Each and every form, from canvas to graffiti. Regardless of how abstract or accurate, the portrayal might be.
he series is about the main character Reggie Riot. He's the son of the art Ops founder, Gina Jones. Reggie has a resentment towards her because he feels she completely abandoned him while he was growing up. The bitterness gives the story a personal vibe, connecting with every latchkey kid in the world. Of course, he had no idea what his mother did for a living. He finds out one night after a mugging gone wrong. He loses his girlfriend, his arm, and his humanity. He becomes a critical work of art. That's where his story starts.
In the series, the Mona Lisa is being targeted by an unknown villain. This villain is going around turning beautiful art into abstract monsters. Just when they're needed the most, the entire art ops goes missing. It's up to Reggie to take over for his mother and care for the Mona Lisa. Accompanied by a music video star from the 80's, a comic hero known as the body, and a young blogger who just happened to be in the right store, it's Reggie's responsibility to save the art. Save the art, save the world.
He's not exactly thrilled about any of this. His displeasure is made visible. It's representative of all parents who expect their children to take over for them. The stress of being told how to live your life, and not being able to make choices for themselves. We've all been there, felt helpless. This story powerfully conveys that struggle, as well as many other emotions.
The concept of art being alive, able to walk and talk, is fascinating. The stories these canvases could tell in real life would be amazing! There's even a moment in the series when the Statue Of Liberty comes to life.
his whole story is brilliantly put together. The plot was well thought out, including the twist at the end of the series (Yes, after all, the intense action and outrageously excellent ideas, the story concludes with a plot twist that left me yelling at the book). The characters were easy to relate to and to engage. There was the right amount of humor and tragedy. The writing was just so good. The art that accompanied can't be put into words. I don't think I've ever seen a comic book with so much color. It all worked together so well.
I'm a little biased because I love Shaun Simon's work. But I would recommend checking it out. It's different, it's catchy, and it's great.