Effigy: Idle Worship

Effigy: Idle Worship
Effigy Idle Worship review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Vertigo - 978-1-4012-5685-2
  • Release date: 2017
  • UPC: 9781401256852
  • Contains adult content?: yes
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Action Thriller, Crime

Back in the day Chondra Jackson was the kid star of the TV show Star Cop, but inevitably outgrew the role she got due to her mother’s single-minded obsession with fame. A few mistakes later she returned to her home town of Effigy Mound, and is now a trainee police officer. Her past hasn’t entirely disappeared, however, as there are chapters of Star Cop Fan Corp around the country, and members are turning up dead, which is why she’s partnered with Grant Moore, a more experienced detective. He’s considerate enough not to scorn her TV and celebrity obsession, but still considers her “a uniform officer with one foot still in the academy who learned about police work from a TV cop show in space.”

The idea of investigating the life former celebrities lead once their star has faded provides an interesting background, and it’s allied with the fans of theirs that never move on. Tim Seeley has probably seen plenty of examples of each while attending conventions himself. He’s created some memorable characters to populate that world, the standouts being Chondra’s scheming and manipulative mother, and her old friend running the hometown chapter of her fan club. He’s on shakier ground when he has characters comparing fandom to a religion, even if that ties in with an additional plot, one that’s shakier still, although the partial revelations behind it makes the final chapter the best of Idle Worship.

Effigy Mound and its inhabitants are brought to life by Marley Zarcone. She’s very good with expressions, but her figures can be pretty stiff, and sometimes not in proportion, which is highlighted by Mike Norton taking over the art for the better looking final chapter. Zarcone’s at her best with a page every episode in which Chondra addresses the audience directly for nine panels. It’s a nice touch, but the longer Idle Worship continues, the more it becomes rudderless by forcing together two separate and largely incompatible strands. In the end Seeley’s produced the graphic novel equivalent of sauerkraut with custard, and no-one wants that. Perhaps the elements might have come together more smoothly in the fullness of time, but this was a series cancelled before completion, and if readers still have no real idea of the plot after seven chapters than something’s not right.