Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chesty Sanchez #1

Chesty Sanchez #1, November 1995, Antarctic Press
writer: Steve Ross
artists: Scott Michard & Jay
editor: I. C. Ross

Superman initiated the Golden Age. Flash kicked off the Silver Age. And Chesty Sanchez ushered in the Cleav-Age.

Yes, my first impression of Chesty Sanchez was its catchy title, which I thought reflected a shallow, plot-free comic, but to my surprise, this issue offered a rather substantial story, truly milking the concept for all it's worth. Boy, do I feel like a boob.

In Chesty Sanchez #1, a disgraced female Mexican wrestler and a gassy chauffeur are recruited by capitalist corporation Frijoles del Oro to promote their product by fighting crime, and their first case is a mysterious epidemic of food poisoning and the subsequent abduction of its victims throughout Mexico. Like I said, this issue is surprisingly packed with interesting concepts and dynamic characters, all of whom represent their respective paradigms well. While I intended to review this issue around Cinco de Mayo (until Free Comic Book Day consumed over a week's worth of posts!), Chesty Sanchez would've been a worthy entry for my Women's History Month series, as well. Despite her awkward (but accurate) moniker, Chesty's strongest asset is her passion and determination, and her undying commitment to her family. She knows how to pick her battles wisely, yet she doesn't compromise her principles, either. I was grateful that this issue was more than a one-line gimmick.

Unfortunately, I did have a problem with the page layout of this issue. The creators' credits are vague regarding lettering responsibilities, but the characters' blocking makes for some inhospitable space for the writer's ambitious script. On many pages, the speech balloons appear out of sequence to the natural flow of the eye because the letterer had to squeeze in the dialogue outside of the panel -- the artist didn't allow enough room for the words, or there was little collaboration or foresight between the inking and lettering stage. Yes, the problem was significant enough for me to explain, and for an issue that already suffers the stigma of appearing shallow, this complex story needs to be read smoothly, lest less patient readers simply give up and move on. Though I doubt I'll encounter a future issue of Chesty Sanchez, if I do, I'll be sure to check if this problem has been resolved.

Because I would really like to know what happens next. Seriously, I hadn't heard of Chesty Sanchez before discovering this comic in a five-for-a-buck back issue bin last month, and I'm grateful for the find, because I like to remain abreast of exciting independent characters.


Anonymous said...

In case nobody dropped you a line on this one yet...

Chesty Sanchez (aka Loca Sanchez) is created by a mister STEVE ROSS...you can get in contact with him via his MySpace page at www.myspace.com/mrmaskrado

I'm sure he'll have some back issues to offer...

Anonymous said...

I just came across Chesty Sanchez via discovering Warrior Nun Areala (yes, I'm coming to all this stuff rather late and, ironically, late in life), and I haven't even read a comic yet, but the character seems to have a lot of potential. I have no idea why she fell into obscurity; why were you - and correctly, practically - sure that you wouldn't see another Chesty comic? I'd like to see the character revived and wonder what constructive criticism you might have toward the comic. You seemed rather praiseworthy of the story and characterization . . . anyway, I'm looking forward to finally reading Chesty, especially in light of your review. All the best.