Is anyone more dangerous than a sheriff on night shift in the "Postal" one-shot? ADVANCE REVIEW

Writing: Levi Fleming, Art: Cecilia Lo Valvo, Colours: Bryan Valenza.

When I initially picked up this book, I thought it was a one-and-done one-shot; I didn’t realise it was a one-shot that’s part of an ongoing series that started in 2015, up until its “end” in 2018. However, it still had a few one-shots here and there, and then the second volume was started last year.

I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this book, not having read any of the previous issues, yet I still found the one-shot incredibly easy to understand and enjoy. Written and drawn like a noir thriller, it centres around an ageing sheriff who feels like he can still do a full night shift, but it ends up being more trouble than he was anticipating. The artwork is harsh and jagged. Which is not normally a style I would be drawn to, however in this book it worked, as it fit very well with both characters and story.

Sheriff Roy Magnum gives his deputy a night off. Knowing that everyone in the town needs a little time off from work sometimes. It seems like deputy Early has a date and Roy knows how much night shifts can affect one's relationships. What starts as a slow night investigating some car vandalism, turns into something far more dangerous and violent. Despite being a small town, the town is made up of criminals, so things aren’t always what they seem. Attached we also have a short story about Molly, a young lady who has decided to take the law into her own hands.

Levi Fleming does a great job of bringing me into the story despite not being fully well-versed in this universe. With a series of repeating phrases, that are cleverly used in multiple different contexts, we establish how dangerous yet how caring the townfolk can be. “Eden’s a small town, everyone has their secrets but we don’t talk about them.” Utilising a phrase like this gives us readers the knowledge that the Sheriff might uphold the law in the town, but he’s not exactly a good guy. Just like the entire population, he does what he must to ensure the safety of the town that he’s protecting.

From an artistic point of view Cecilia Lo Valvo really accentuates the harshness of the characters and the environment. With multiple pencil lines, the characters look rough and not as defined, which I think is the point, as no one can be seen as predominantly good or bad. Also crafting a dark environment with heightened shadowed areas and dim lighting, this creates the noir suspense thriller ambience that it’s clearly going for. Obviously this is clearly helped by the fantastic colours (or deliberate lack thereof in some cases) by Bryan Valenza.

Overall I found this an incredibly enjoyable read, which makes me want to dive into the back catalogue of the series so far. With nods to pop culture like Clint Eastwood' "Man With No Name" and tv series like Banshee (2013), this crime noir thriller is a great read for anyone who doesn’t like characters that are clearly defined good and bad.

Postal: Night Shift one shot from Image Comics will be released on 9th December 2020 from your local comic shop as well as comixology


Postal Vol 1 (2015)

Postal Vol 2 (2019)

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