Written by Andy Diggle, with art by Jock and letters by Clem Robins – Snapshot #1 takes place in San Francisco over the course of a single day, following the poor decision making skills of Jake Dobson after he keeps a lost cell phone he found in a park. His day instantly becomes worse when he discovers photos of a murdered man on the device.
In general, I found both the premise – and its execution – cliche. This idea of Joe Nobody stumbling across something bigger than himself and then inadvertently getting sucked into that plot is beyond tired. I had hoped for some aspect of Snapshot #1 to be different to really pull me in, but everything just fell short.
Part of the problem was that the first issue is predicated on ignorance – seriously, you just found a phone with pictures of a murdered man, it rings and it doesn’t occur to you that the murderer might be on the other end looking for the phone? The idiocy continues when Jake is (easily) convinced by a friend to visit the apartment where the [dead] man supposedly lived.
But what I found particularly frustrating was that Jake had suspected that the man who visited his store wasn’t actually a detective (and instead intended to kill him), so he escaped. Yet somehow he couldn’t extend that same intuition and common sense to another situation. This spoke more to choppy writing on Diggle’s part than anything else.
Ultimately, Snapshot’s real selling point is its black and white artwork. Other than Terry Moore’s Echo, I hadn’t read a comic in black and white, so this was an incredibly pleasant surprise. Jock’s art is pretty great, and because of its monochromic quality there’s a lot of play with shadow that I also enjoyed.
Although the story seems really worthwhile, this issue didn’t bring me to care enough Jake or what happens to him to invest in Snapshots #2.