Writers: Kyle Higgins and Joe Clark
Art: Helena Masellis
Colors: Igor Monti
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: May 31st, 2023
Deep Cuts has been a fascinating miniseries so far, telling stories of the victories and disappointments of different characters living in the jazz age. Deep Cuts #2 focuses on Gail Geldstein, a musician in the late 1920’s struggling with a musical production that’s opening in a week. Realizing that the show doesn’t have a “hit song”, she has to write a jazz song that will score big, even though she has little knowledge of jazz or experience playing it. It’s both a fun romp and a tension-filled few days as we plunge with Gail into a world of flapper-era underground jazz clubs and late night jam sessions.
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Deep Cuts #2 Review.
You’ll love Deep Cuts #2 if you’re a fan of music (especially jazz) or the 1920’s. Even if you’re not a fan of either of those, this is a great story. The book submerges you in that era, perfectly capturing the slang and fashions of the time. Even the art is similar to work in a magazine that a flapper would have been flipping through between drinks in a Speakeasy. As such, I found the book so enjoyable, a work that I never knew I wanted but I’m so glad exists. The book opens with musician Gail Geldstein preparing to open her show “Kansas, Oh Kansas!” in 1928. It’s her first show and she’s desperate for it to be a success.
When her financial backer moans that the show is no good, Gail is convinced she can save it by writing one hit song for it, one home run of a song that will catch on and make the show skyrocket in popularity. Since jazz is big though, it has to be a jazz song. Unfamiliar with jazz, Gail sets off on an odyssey to learn all she can about it and write that perfect song in one week. Gail’s a character full of contradictions. She’s excited about the infinite possibilities of music yet surprisingly timid about working on a jazz song. She’s fun-loving yet serious as a heart attack when it comes to finishing her show.
We get to see her through her creative process, at times speaking her lyrics out loud, trying to form rhyming words and lines. We also see her have various encounters at Speakeasies and jazz concerts. The people she meets are nearly as fascinating as she is. I suppose the book spoke to me because of my love for the 1920’s time period, but I feel that anyone would enjoy the book. Since the story takes place over a week, it flows and moves at a brisk pace. And like the best stories, the main character is a different person at the end than she was at the beginning. If you’re looking for something different from the usual superhero fare, give this book a try.
Helena Marsellis’s art on Deep Cuts #2 is beautiful and captivating. After I read the issue, I went back through it again to absorb every detail of the panels. Ms. Marsellis’s art simultaneously has a classic and modern feel, and I especially love the way she draws Gail Geldstein, with her golden hair in a Mary Pickford hair style and her deep soulful eyes and dark heavy lids a striking contrast to her pale as moonlight skin. Beautiful work from beginning to end.
Deep Cuts #2 is my book of the week, a wonderful trip back to the jazz age, with a fantastic main character, gorgeous art throughout and an emotional rollercoaster ride of a story. Highly recommended.