In Review: Deep Cuts #1

Deep Cuts tells the story of the city’s bustling red-light district where a young clarinet player lands a job with his hero
Cuts

Synopsis: Set in New Orleans in 1917. Deep Cuts tells the story of the city’s bustling red-light district where a young clarinet player lands a job with his hero—but he’ll soon discover there’s more to the music business than playing the right notes.

 

The Story

This issue follows the story of Charles Stewart who longs to play clarinet alongside his music hero Jack Cartier. Having followed Jack around the various venues in New Orleans. Charles manages to impress Jack with his playing and lands himself a gig. Only it doesn’t work out quite how Charles was hoping. As Jack just requires him to carry his Cornet Case. However, pretty soon Jack has an opportunity for Charles to join up with a local musician known as The Professor at a Brothel. Despite his rather conservative spiritual upbringing and the wishes of his Guardian. Charles agrees to play at the Brothel and uses the performance name of Ace. But as the story unfolds Charles Stewart learns that the music business can be a rather murky area. Especially when it comes to chasing after the perfect set.

 

The Artwork

Danilo Beyruth does some fantastic art for this story and captures the vibe and the mood of 1917 New Orleans perfectly. One of my favorite images in this book is when Charles is looking for Jack Cartier’s band and is going to pretty much every venue in the city to find him. There’s a great panel in the book where Charles closes his eyes and listens to the music in order to figure out who is playing. The look of absolute joy and pleasure on Charle’s face, when he hears his favorite Jazz player jamming out with his band, is brilliantly drawn.

The artist also does a great job of capturing the fashion and styles of 1917. The panels that take place in the brothel are also well done as Beyruth does a great job of capturing both the seediness of the venue as well as the smoke.

 

Overall

This first issue of Deep Cuts is a brilliant love letter to the early Jazz era of New Orleans as it shows us the path walked by a great many musicians of that time and some of the pitfalls that they faced. The character of Charles Stewart aka Ace is brilliantly realized and a fairly true representation of pretty much any given young teenage musician from that era. The relationship that forms between Jack and his hero Jack Cartier is brilliantly played out. But it’s the bond that Charles forms with the young hooker Ditzy and the professor aka Albert Hooks. The piano player that Charles works with that really makes this book special.

I really loved how Albert describes the music to Charles and the truism that he offers up when he says there is no such thing as the perfect set. Music is about connecting with other musicians and the people that listen to the music. But moreover. It’s about being in the present moment with the music and the people that are sharing the experience with you. I look forward to reading the second issue and seeing what that has to offer.

And for the musicians out there. The book also has the sheet music printed on the final few pages for Thaddeus Tukes song Here We Go!

9.8
Deep Cuts #1
  • Covers
    9.5
  • Story
    9.8
  • Artwork
    10
  • Lettering
    9.5
  • Colours
    10

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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