Behind The Panels
Comic Book Creators Interviews
Story and Art: Allan Linder
Hard Cover Promotional Copy 2012
Review By: John M. Scrudder
A Package mysteriously arrives on the front porch.
An innocuous looking box, labeled with UPS markings and no return address.
Inside the box, an evidence bag with a Hard Cover book and a classified letter from a one Dr. Zane. The contents of the letter include black out information from the desk of the Director of the F.B.I., A mission statement and a photo copy of a black rose. The book includes… well, I’m not sure If I’m allowed to say…
Allan Linder’s book “Prisoner of the Mind” isn’t just a Graphic Novel, It’s an experience from the moment you open the package.
Immediately you are a thrust into a world of conspiracies, Secret agents, Lies and questions, and a whole lot of rain.
Our Hero, Cole Blackburn isn’t sure why he’s here. This question could be an existential one, or it could be a more immediate one, that being, why he’s laying in the street, on his back, in the rain with a dead man laying next to him. This is the introduction to the world of Prisoner of the Mind. A new Neo-Noir Sci-Fi story from Allan Linder.
Linder’s style is a mixed bag. It’s part Frank Miller meets Blade Runner and part Ralph Bakshi meets Eastman and Laird’s TMNT. As an Artist, Linder is fearless, regardless of his level of actual artistic ability. You can see the effects of years of training (this book spans from 1995-2012), he’s a capable artist and you can see this in just about every panel, perspective and angle. The man can’t help but illustrate this as one would see a motion picture in their head. Sometimes, however, Linder’s reach exceeds his grasp. In some instances the continuity of a characters look isn’t always the same and some of the Ralph Bakshi like screen shots don’t fit in with the rest of the story (just like Bakshi’s stab at The Lord of the Rings), but Linder’s storytelling ability keeps everything on track, so it’s easy enough to follow and sometimes those shots work out rather well. Every car chase scene and flashback’s to Cole in a hospital bed are spot on!
The man loves rain. Linder has rain pouring throughout the entire storyline, and with the exception of a few pages of scratch rain, every drop and pool of outward rippling water is clearly drawn, just like all the other detailed bits in the book. Linder doesn’t skimp, he dives head first into his art and manages to (almost) pull off every scene that he wishes to convey. But the story here is the real compelling draw. Agents from the same training group are being knocked off one by one, and the one’s who are still alive are trying to unravel a secret that could lead to their survival, but the closer they get to the truth, the more likely they are to wind up dead. It’s a race against the clock for agent Cole and the few people he trusts. Underneath it all, is the mysterious death of Agent Cole’s Father. Everything seems to be building towards a collision course with destruction.
Just as we reach the end of the first arc, Some questions have been answered but a slew of new ones have presented themselves.
Linder’s narrative and pacing are taught and engaging. I can’t wait for the next part!!