Written by Joey Esposito
Art by Jonathon Moore
We might as well address the elephant in the room – though perhaps calling it a chupacabra would be more genre appropriate. Yes, this is a book about cryptids, and yes, Bigfoot is the lead. It’s about investigating and other creatures and plots larger than at first thought. However, this is nothing like Proof – the book from Image by Alex Grecian and Riley Rossmo about Bigfoot as a CIA agent. Proof was more about cryptid espionage and this is cryptid pulp. Grecian wrote like his Bigfoot was starring in a bizarre Archer/Clancy novel whereas Esposito posits this Bigfoot as the lead in a warped Chandler/MacLean novel.
With that out of the way, let’s look at Footprints on its own two feet and see how it fares.
Bigfoot enters his office, lights up a cigarette, opens a letter from an old friend, and the game is afoot. That’s two pages and it’s very terse yet narratively light. There’s still plenty to discover but by this stage you’ve already decided you want to be along for the ride. That’s how you kickstart a story.
From here we meet the supporting cast. Esposito’s decision to make the Jersey Devil sound like an authentic Jersey resident is either genius or terrible. Either way, it’ll make you laugh whether you want it to or not. The emotional journey isn’t his so it doesn’t matter if he’s an idiot or not. Maybe he’s the strange Yoda of the tale, though some may see him as the Jar Jar Binks. You have been fairly warned – and I should state I found him more of a warped C-3PO than anything else, ha.
With the team assembled amidst their internal problems and issues, we then get the complication of the case. It starts with a man losing his head, in the worst possible way, and only escalates from there. There is a large problem at the heart of this case and it is both global in effect and personal in heart. Of course, it relates to the history of our cryptid team, and their lost members, and of course it involves secret bases and mothmen soldiers and sacrifice and love lost.
Genre crossing, and breaking, books can be a tough sell. If one of those genres doesn’t appeal to you then you might pass. If the genres don’t mesh well, then you might pass. Footprints boldly stands up as its own book – there are cryptids as both whole flesh characters and comedic relief, as well as nasty pieces of business; there is pulp crime serious in intent and execution; the book is funny at times, ludicrous in others, and overall weaving together the sort of tale you cannot get anywhere else. This is an individual tale no one else could have brought before you. Footprints is a book that will make you think but won't stop you having a whole mess of fun while you do it.
It should also be noted that Adam O. Pruett does a great job with the lettering. His sound effects are fun in an almost TV show Batman style but without ever interfering with your experience.
Verdict – Buy It. I hear a lot of talk about people wanting new comics that are good, and wanting to support these books with their money, and here is the perfect opportunity. Footprints is like nothing else and yet still the quality is fantastic. You’ll be won over with the words, you’ll be smiling along with the art, and you’ll count the sad tale of Bigfoot and the case of the venomous moth woman as one to remember and tell your friends about. This is a strange pulp yarn – as most of the good ones are – and well worth your time and money. Footprints will suck you in with the big ideas but it will floor you with the heart on show. This is the sort of Bigfoot of which we definitely need more.