“Fade Out: Painless Suicide” is a one-shot comic written by Beto Skubs; drawn by Rafael de Latorre; and colored by Marcelo Maiolo. It’s a pretty funky little story with a nod to Generation Y. All Kurt seems to want these days is to end it all. Far be it for anyone to point out that Kurt’s life is not so bad, he won’t listen. Yes, this story has its shock value. Don’t expect a morality play here. Kurt is going to die, like it or not. Skubs challenges the reader and knocks out a credible script making you sort of root for the main character’s demise. He certainly runs the risk of alienating many readers.
Who kills off their main character in, like, the first scene? Well, it happens. “Sunset Boulevard” is a prime example. In this story, however, Kurt is a young man with his whole life ahead of him, a poster boy for preventable suicide. He should have no problem with “choosing life.” Skubs chooses an odd but interesting path for his character. It’s not the path some readers will be comfortable with. It’s a challenge that Skubs attempts to work through in an offbeat way.
Skubs is a young writer who already shows promise. He provides characters with some thoughtful moments and keeps to a lean and fast pace. The purpose of this story is to function partly as farce and mostly as thriller. Various comics tropes are in play: Kurt is a cub reporter. There’s a killer on the loose. Kurt has girl problems: one beautiful girlfriend who is very needy; a new girl in his life who is a big mystery. And Kurt has major father issues. His father is remote and Kurt has only recently made contact with him. And Kurt is still in high school, a classic comics trope.
Art by Rafael de Latorre is quite pleasing, truly another layer to the story. When it comes to breathing life into Kurt and his friends, both de Latorre and colorist Maiolo, are appealing. With irony, the art and color bring out a sunny disposition to a story with a disturbing theme running throughout.
“Fade Out: Painless Suicide” is available as of January 29 at ComiXolgy Submit.