Diesel #1

“Tyson Hesse’s Diesel #1”
Writer/Artist: Tyson Diesel

What’s to Love: We’ve been big fans of Tyson Hesse ever since we first discovered his webcomic Boxer Hockey. After cover stints on Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors, we put him to the test with the tricky mixed-media art style of The Amazing World of Gumball and he just crushed it. Now, we’re excited to be working with him on his first original series, a coming-of-age story with a cool fantasy airship twist that fans of Tank Girl, Rocket Girl, or Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle are sure to enjoy!

What It Is: Diandra Diesel isn’t very good at anything. The daughter of the late Tungston Diesel, she has yet to live up to her father’s great reputation. Her childhood rival has inherited control of her family’s airship and left Diandra the only job she’s qualified for: picking up the trash. But all that changes when a mysterious flying engine crashes into Diesel’s life and takes her on a journey through the skies.

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Diesel is the story of a young girl, Dee Diesel, who is on the cusp of her eighteenth birthday, which is the day she will inherit her father’s old airship, Peacetowne.  She is excited at the prospect, but no one else is.  It is clear from the beginning that she has no concept of what it takes to captain a ship, and thinks it is all fun and games.  She is the only person who does not realize she has no idea what she is doing.  The current captain of the airship, Captain Wells, is at her wits end trying to deal with the young heiress, and is stuck between trying to keep the airship flying and not getting herself fired on the whim of Diesel.  Despite how she presents herself, there are certain indications that Diesel does understand the importance of Captain Wells and her knowledge, even if she might not admit it.

The majority of this first issue is given over to introducing the members of the crew, and their relationships to Diesel.  While some crew members merely tolerate Diesel (such as Captain Wells), there are others who genuinely want to help guide her and make her into the captain that her father was.  There is a certain paternal feeling from several members of the crew, which is endearing in its own way.  Of course they also make her take out the garbage and are weary of her ‘inventions’ (which all turn out to be explosive ‘rat catchers’), so they are also not immune to being annoyed by her lack of a responsible attitude.

Captain Wells and Diesel in "Diesel #1"
Captain Wells and Dee Diesel

We also learn over the course of the story that Diesel seems to have a minor superpower, in that she can build up a static charge in herself large enough to do significant damage.  She already a modicum of control over it, but the full potential of it is still being explored (as evidenced by the last panel).  This power of hers changes the dynamic of the book in an odd direction towards the end, and puts an interesting spin on what could otherwise be a fairly standard coming-of-age tale about a girl learning personal responsibility.

The art in the issue is fairly cartoony with a style that reminds me of Steve Uy’s work, and fits the story well.  The character designs are inventive and entertaining, and it is easy to keep track of everyone.  There is a lot of visual comedy in the issue, particularly in regards to facial features, and for the most part they work out rather well.  The style will definitely appeal to kids, but isn’t obnoxious or irritating to older readers like myself.

I have never heard of Tyson Hesse prior to this issue, but he has apparently done work on several kids books like Mega Man and Sonic, as well as some more mature books like Assassin’s Creed: The Chain.  These are not books I would normally take a look at, but if you are a fan of such titles then you already know what Hesse is capable of.  Even if you have not read any of his previous books (like me), then you should consider giving Diesel #1 a try if you are in the mood for something light-hearted and fun.

Diesel #1 is available at your local comic shop or on Comixology.

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