Overview

Tag: Cursed #1

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Tag: Cursed #1

Credits

  • Words: Mike Leib
  • Art: Chee
  • Inks: Chee
  • Colors: Imaginary Friends Studio
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Feb 2, 2007

Ed survived the Tag curse but he is finding it hard to live with the guilt. Now he is deciding to do something about that guilt. The question is: how far will he go?

With Tag: Cursed, writer Mike Leib follows another victim of the Tag curse. The difference with this sequel is that this time he is looking at what it means to survive a horrifying experience and live.

The Tag curse is almost like an evil version of "pay it backward" instead of "pay it forward." A person is "tagged" and begins to become a rotting corpse. The only way to survive is to find someone who wronged them and pass the curse on to them. Ed was tagged and passed the curse along to survive but now he not only lives with the guilt of what he did, he starts to ponder how the whole thing began… and if there is any way to stop it.

The basic premise to this title is a brilliant one – the idea of a curse that pushes people into getting revenge on those who wronged them. There are also hints tying the Tag to the story of Cain and Abel, which only increases the symbolism since not only is Cain and Abel’s tale considered the first murder, it was also committed out of petty jealousy and for little gain. Leib works hard at emphasizing the darkness inherent in human nature and how easy it is for the curse to be passed along. People commit crimes every day in ways large and small and they wrong one another every day in ways equally large and small. The problem comes in the fact that Leib has worked so hard at emphasizing the baser natures of the characters, he has gone a bit overboard. Readers see everyone through Ed’s cynical eyes and that means that there is not a single redeeming soul around. This makes it difficult to care or sympathize with Ed as he comes across as petty, snarking, and whining. It is only in the last page that readers get a little relief from the unremitting cynicism.

The art by Chee is nicely stylized and he has a flair for depicting the more horrific aspects of the story. The art, however, is dragged down a bit by the colors from Imaginary Friends Studios. As a horror comic the decision to not go with bright colors is a smart one but the colors here are not a rich dark either. Instead everything is in shades of muddy brown to gray and do not lend the story or art any drama or intensity.

Tag: Cursed has a fascinating hook and the potential in issue number two is enough to make this first installment worth a trip to your home.

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