Comics Review: Going To The Chapel #1

It’s the event of the season. Emily Anderson, the daughter of CEO Arthur Anderson, walks down the aisle today, wearing a piece of jewelry estimated to be worth $250 million. Her groom, Jesse Moore, calmly sketches in a bar with his groomsmen while Emily gets ready. It’s the picture perfect day as they’re headed for the chapel. Except…

Emily has doubts. Lots of brides get the jitters on their wedding day. Lots of grooms do, too. And if Jesse’s too calm, that does mean he’s a little too open with information as less savory bar patrons get some wedding details in the guise of casual conversation. See, there’s a group of robbers called the Bad Elvis Gang, and they’ve decided that weddings make for a perfect score. Except…

To say that you know where Going to the Chapel is going is both right and wrong. Writer David Pepose (Spencer & Locke) and artist Gavin Guidry have set up what could be a by the numbers crime comic. But like any good crime story, that’s how they hook you in.

First, there are no throwaway bits of characterization. Under Guidry’s pencil, every attendee lives and breathes with personality. Pepose doesn’t waste a panel in writing dialogue that makes each character live. They do use a touch of Tarantino in playing with the narrative order, but that never overwhelms the actual story. It all tumbles forward in a tight heist that feels like it could easily transfer to film, but breathes better as a comic.

While Spencer & Locke and its sequel were fun, Going to the Chapel really shows what Pepose can do without having to nod to source material. He’s found his way around some modern technology issues that can get in the way of plotting, and he’s found another good collaborator in Guidry. Spencer & Locke had grit on every page; Going to the Chapel, though it’s still a crime comic, is clean and open, befitting its midwestern setting. It takes extra flair to pull off a heist in broad daylight, and Guidry gives that to the Bad Elvis Gang.

To say more would tip the hand that Jesse needs to take in marriage, so just know that each issue of this mini-series keeps up the pace, the plotting, and the quality. If you’re looking for something outside of the superhero realm this week and just want a good comic, Going to the Chapel makes a fine choice. And as a writer, Pepose is one to watch.