Domain editor

Public Domain Review #1 – But Why? A community of geeks

Reading time: 3 minutes

Public domain #1 is written, illustrated, colored, and literate by Chip Zdarsky, with Allison O’Toole serving as editor. The print version is published by Image Comics, with the comic originally appearing on Zdarsky’s Substack. Artist Syd Dallas helped create the superhero known as Domain, the foundation of the Singular Comics publishing juggernaut. However, creation hovers over the heads of Syd’s sons Dave and Miles; Miles, in particular, resents Syd’s co-creator Jerry Jasper and Singular for misleading his father and taking the credit and money he feels his father deserves. Things are not settled when Jasper’s assistant, Tanya Ko, discovers shocking information regarding the creation of The Domain.

As more and more comics are adapted for film and television, especially in the superhero genre, the question of creators’ rights has arisen. Many of the writers and artists who create the characters fans love often struggle to make a living, while studios that adapt their work rake in billions in revenue. This led to many creators launching their own series and/or editors, from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. we have demons to Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman launching KLC Press. Public domain follows in the same mode, adding a layer of metatext to its story. After reading Zdarksy’s guest issue of crossing with Phil Hester, it’s no surprise that he knows how to handle metatext.

It is also normal that a comic addressing creators’ rights has found its way to Image. The publisher was founded when the artists decided to leave Marvel Comics and create their own characters so they could have some control over their stories. Zdarsky is no stranger to Image, having been the lead artist and co-creator of Sex criminals; it brings the same mix of humor and emotion that fueled this title to Public domain. Throughout the issue, readers will see how much the weight of The Estate weighs on Miles’ head: he is distant with his father, and he is angry when the editor of the newspaper he works for asks him to interview the main actor of the latest domain movie.

The rest of the characters are just as three-dimensional and human as Miles, especially his family and Tanya. Dave has a look that I can only describe as “how are you, fellow youth?”. Syd is affable and charming. And Tanya is dealing with Jasper and his huge ego, which is extremely commendable. This allows Zdarsky to offer biting commentary on how the writers are often seen as the most important part of a comic when the artist has just as much say in how the product is delivered.

It helps that Zdarsky illustrates the whole issue to make everyone look like real people. Coloring also adds more depth to the final product, whether it’s the cold blue of a lonely night or a wave of yellow representing flashing cameras at a movie premiere. Zdarsky’s lettering is often cut in some panels just like a risque joke is told which made me laugh more than once.

Public domain #1 tackles the major problem of creators’ rights in a funny yet heartfelt way and continues to cement Chip Zdarsky as one of the most interesting creators in the industry. If you liked Zdarsky’s other creations or his daredevil run, I strongly suggest picking up this book. And if you want more, the Zdarksy substack is still open for subscriptions.

Public domain #1 will be available wherever the comics are sold on June 24, 2022.

Public domain #1

TL; DR

Public domain #1 tackles the major problem of creators’ rights in a funny yet heartfelt way and continues to cement Chip Zdarsky as one of the most interesting creators in the industry. If you liked Zdarsky’s other creations or his daredevil run, I strongly suggest picking up this book.