Bad Luck Chuck

Bad Luck Chuck

Bad Luck Chuck caught my attention due how interesting the premise was. It kept my attention by wrapping the concept in intriguing layers of story. It’s written by Lela Gwenn and illustrated by Matthew Dow Smith. Chuck Manchester has really bad luck. Like “the building burns down around her” bad luck. So she’s made a business, “Disaster on Demand”, out of it, hiring herself out as, for example, an untraceable arsonist. She’s just been hired to bring a daughter back […]

Bad

Bad Luck Chuck caught my attention due how interesting the premise was. It kept my attention by wrapping the concept in intriguing layers of story. It’s written by Lela Gwenn and illustrated by Matthew Dow Smith.

Chuck Manchester has really bad luck. Like “the building burns down around her” bad luck. So she’s made a business, “Disaster on Demand”, out of it, hiring herself out as, for example, an untraceable arsonist. She’s just been hired to bring a daughter back from a cult, but there’s a lot more to that client than first thought.

The idea of someone who turns a curse into profit is interesting enough, but once we got the obsessed insurance investigator trying to pin down what Chuck’s doing, the determined preacher, and the true story of the mother/daughter relationship, I really felt for Chuck trying to navigate a difficult existence. Motives are often murky in this comic, with plenty of “more than meets the eye” and hidden incentives. And then there’s the police, who (as the series continues) keep arresting different characters.

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Smith’s art is nicely rough around the edges, clear in what it’s showing but not polished or pretty, which suits the story well. The crazy chains of events that follow Chuck around are great in comics, which can deal with large-scale catastrophe. I’m also interested in thinking about how choices interact with fate, how much of what we do we can affect and how much we’re forced into. How much is coincidence, and does coincidence really exist? I’m eager to see how all these threads come together by the end. I want to spend more time with these characters, particularly once we start finding out more about their histories.

Issue #4, concluding the miniseries, will be out at the end of June. The collection is due out at the end of October. It can be preordered now from your local comic shop with Diamond code JUN19 0345. (The publisher provided digital review copies of the issues out so far.)