REVIEW: BIG WILLY Book One
Published by Gee Comics
Written by Gary "G" Mac
Illustrated by Charles "Chucky" Penero Jr. & Dike Ruan
Coloring by Raymond "Monds" Agustin
Lettering by Michel Marietta
Review by Alain Alexander Mesa
I had the privilege of meeting Gary "G" Mac on Facebook several months ago where he posted images of his personal graphic novel series "Big Willy". I started to inquire and then decided to order my own copy of the first installment Big Willy Book One. Part of what made "Big Willy" so unique was the fact that writer Gary Mac created and dedicated this series to his son Evan William MacDowell. His son lives with ADHD and this comic book project was part of Gary's message to his son to always believe in himself, chase his dreams, work hard, and never give up on what he wants in life.
Big Willy is essentially a fictionalized and parodized manifestation of Gary's son Evan, and his story represents the human ability to over come one's challenges in the most head-on way possible.
This Theme of Self-Evolution is very appropriate considering how Big Willy came to be. He wasn't bitten by any radioactive spider, nor was he exposed to cosmic rays in outer space, nor was he born with any genetic mutation which would have enabled his super-human abilities. He is just a human male born on planet Earth. Through sheer force of will and self belief, Big Willy was able to transform himself into the peak of human physical condition.
Big Willy's abilities incorporate the extreme limits of what a human being can do, without technology, without cosmic gifts, alien interference, or scientific alteration. He doesn't shoot laser beams out of his eyes like Superman, nor does he fly through space like the Silver Surfer, but he can definitely overpower pretty much any opponent who comes this way regardless of what power they possess.
Big Willy's Super-Power is essentially his Belief in Himself and What He Can Do.
Big Willy's interaction with his super-villian enemies and the collection of super heroes he shares his world with display a hilarious parody of many of our familiar Marvel and DC characters. Big Willy is an action / humor comic book series, and is an extremely fun comic book to read. The base of the humorous tone of Big Willy is that Big Willy's physique is so massive and strong that he would always accidentally rip through his uniform and end every fight in the nude. This became so routine that Big Willy eventually decided to stop wearing clothes all together and became known as the naked super-hero "Big Willy".
HIGH-OCTANE, ACTION-PACKED, and FUN as Gary "G" Mac puts it, is true and applicable here.
Out of all of my Comic Book Reviews, this was one of the most enjoyable. I was amazed at the quality of work rendered in this comic book. It's an extremely professional and visually pleasing independent comic book. On Facebook, Gary Mac has stated several times that many mainstream and even independent comic books today have forgotten the core of what makes any comic book great: the fact that comic books are ultimately supposed to be fun. Comic Books are visual stories represented through consecutive and frozen depictions in time. The artist has a responsibility to use that space to portray the most dynamic visuals possible, and Gary's team succeeded here.
Big Willy displays such raw creativity in its pages. The concept is rather original in comparison to much of the comic book content you will see online and in general media. While reading from first to last page, I could tell that Gary had fun writing this novel. Big Willy's story exists for his own sake, this is his story, take it or leave it. How Gary was able to take one simple concept of personal actualization and create an entire world out of it is extremely impressive.
The entire concept of a naked super hero already sets the tone for Big Willy's story. Being a super hero genre parody, however, does not take away from how seriously Gary took this project, nor from the craft of this book. You will find satirical versions of Marvel and DC Villains and Super-Heroes scattered throughout the novel, each of which serve as comical Easter-Eggs of sorts. The dialogue between the assassins who are trying to kill Big Willy is equally hilarious. Yet, despite the story moving through the vehicle of humor, there are some serious themes and shocking scenes that still make this novel a dark one.
Although there are subtle moments of story-building and reflection, Gary wasn't kidding when he said "High Octane". Big Willy is a fast-paced heart stomping graphic novel. You'd be shocked how many villains he actually destroys in four issues. For any fans who prefer to see their heroes take action first and ask questions later, "Big Willy" is the super hero for you.
Charles Penero Jr. and Dike Ruan are amazing Illustrators. My favorite component of this novel is the artwork itself. The art is amazing! The amount of detail, color choices, and the dynamic representations of the human form is out of this world. Gary "G" Mac and his team should be damn proud! I promise my blog readers that if you purchase this novel, the artwork will NOT disappoint you!
Gary did a great job composing a fun action-packed story based on a Naked Super-Hero inspired by his son Evan. From how Big Willy came to be, to why he became a super-hero in the first place, to his role in the world, every page is captivating as is the dialogue and narration. Big Willy Book One takes elements of classic comic book storytelling, mixes that with comical satire, and finishes it with high-level professional illustration.
Over all, this has been one of the most enjoyable graphic novels I've ever read or experienced. It was worth the purchase and I keep my copy wrapped in my favorites collection. Gary "G" Mac and his team have done a phenomenal job, and I can't wait to purchase my copy of Big Willy Book Two: The Indomitable Brute.
I 100% Recommend Purchasing your Graphic Novel Print of "Big Willy: Book One". I have No Regret making this purchase, for $15.99 you get a full graphic novel weaving 4 Action-Packed issues together. You can order your copy here:
I Promise You will Love this Book!
- Alain Alexander Mesa
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