A small recap: Jeff Rougvie is the real deal music industry inside with the real world chops to writing comics. He presents a real look into the music world through a fictional story.
Gunning for Hits is illustrated by the dark pulpy yet punky and spunky art of Moritat! Casey Silver coordinates it all with colors, letters, and design.
Martin Mills is a music industry big shot who signs bands with a hit-making success streak that turns heads making everyone else in the industry envious. He’s unpredictable and very determined. His latest conquest is signing Stunted Growth.
According to Martin, this band is the next big thing. The first issue introduces us to Mills, the leader of Stunted Growth and his girlfriend/manager Diane in a tense negotiation that ends up in a pulp fiction like to be continued ending. That conclusion should lead to Issue #2…except, we don’t discover how that scene turned out!
If you are reading this review and have not read the first issue…I won’t ruin the scene. Especially since it isn’t even referenced in the second issue. Not showing a resolution to the cliff hanger is true to “behind the scenes” of the music industry. There’s always more to every music industry story. There will always be more secrets to uncover. The ending to the first issue is one of them perhaps?
We open up with Martin looking for his accountant.
When your successful like Martin, its best to be in good with your accountant. Martin even says his accountant might be his best friend!
Stunted Growth already has nicknamed Martin “Weasel”. One can imagine such people associate with others like them. You won’t be surprised that the type of character that his account is. Actually, even with the warning, you will! Jerry Melchionna or “Melch”, Martins accountant, isn’t at his office. Martin discovers Melch is actually waiting for him at his office.
Melch relates a story involving an accountant co-worker. A story that revolves around a missing finger, stolen cigars and other details that you should read rather than have me reveal them.
Melch leaves Martins office with a juicy detail. Martins ultimate insider tip and favor. Brian Slade, a performer who, in Martins opinion, would be the top signing ever, is looking for a new label. Whoever gets Slade, gets his next album and his back catalog.
Slade is a fictionalized and altered version of a very real musician. I won’t ruin that either. Everything is advanced in this issue. In the first issue, we see that Stunted Growth and Martin share somewhat of an obsession with Slade. We see that even more so with Martin in this issue.
The cast of characters for Gunning for hits was minimal in the last issue. Besides Melch, we are introduced to Martins secretary, his boss, and various friends and enemies. The cast grows bigger. More real-world music information is dispersed throughout the story. All pretty accurate.
Drama is building. Tension and pressure are mounting from different angles. All of which Martin must deal with to maintain his job. The story quickly progresses. Martin gets to meet Slade.
We’re introduced to the hot and mysterious Ms. Folani Rotherstein, Slade’s personal assistant. It appears that Martin wouldn’t mind getting personal with her. Folani introduces Lucius Goldstone, a apeish looking bodyguard for Slade. It turns out that Goldstone and Martin. It’s not a good one and it involves serving in the U.S. Military. Whatever past they share must be bad. Things get tense and end up physical.
Before any damage can be done, someone announced that Stunted Growth is about to go on. If there is anything that can interrupt conflict at a concert, it’s the headliner going on! Things really take off as the issue comes to a close.
Many of the cast of characters we’ve been introduced to in this issue and the debut are present. Stunted Growth hits the stage. Slade holds court backstage. Our colorful cast continues creating drama, adding color to the dark pulp yet fun canvas of Gunning for Hits!
As with the last issue, Jeff includes interesting back matter for your mind matter! Second issues can be a troublesome stumbling block for many new comics. Gunning for Hits might be the title, but I’m pretty sure Jeff is gunning for a hit with his comic. So far, he has one! I’m looking forward to the third issue. Let’s find out more about our interesting cast of characters and situations!
I am honored to bring the comic book industry closer to comic book fans everywhere! I’m an author, musician, graphic designer, and comic book reporter • Find out more about me at : ((My reporting)) www.facebook.com/joesimon.comicbookreporter + ((My music project)) https://lureoftheunknown.com/