All the behind-the-scenes Hollywood drama you could want smushed into one issue — that’s The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #1 in a nutshell.
Nobody wants to think their favorite actor is a monster. By opening issue one of The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #1 with a scene from one of Keaton’s movies, then, writer, Kyle Starks, and artist, Chris Schweizer, gives readers a chance to see Keaton as his fans would have saw him – an action hero who prided himself on doing his own stunts.
It doesn’t last long, and as soon as the cameras are off Keaton starts acting out, but for most fans the illusion is never broken. It would’ve been easy for Starks and Schweizer to confront readers with the real Keaton right away, but it’s also important to remember why these stars have been protected – on screen, they’re larger than life.
If backstage stories are your jam, The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #1 is basically a smorgasbord of all the behind-the-scenes drama you could ask for in Hollywood. The first issue speaks to so many ongoing issues in the industry, whether it’s the #MeToo movement, celebrity worship, or the exploitation of child actors and stunt people. Then there’s the inside baseball stuff, like lead actors getting recast or thinking they could be a detective after playing one on TV. Schweizer’s colors for these scenes (with color assists by Liz Trice Schweizer) are especially great because they feel very moody and fantastic – like the colors are playing into sidekick #6’s delusions (even though he might be right about Keaton’s death being suspicious).
It’s the kind of story you might expect to play out at a fan convention, since that’s a place where casts are reunited, yet Starks and Schweizer come up with another situation where that could happen: a funeral. Trigger Keaton is dead, and all of his sidekicks from his various films and TV shows are coming to pay their respects (or not).
One of my favorite repeat visuals is how Schweizer will introduce each character by providing excerpts from TV Guide, and it’s not like any of the excerpts say TV Guide but the formatting for the TV listings is so recognizable from when TV Guides were boxy, not floppy. Along with magazine excerpts, they really paint a timeline of Keaton’s career and how much his exploits were public knowledge, because it’s easy to think that nobody knew what going on or that his actions were covered up, but it’s more that nobody held him accountable. Nobody that hated should’ve been able to accrue that many sidekicks, but he did. The only question now: was Trigger Keaton murdered?
Six sidekicks mean Starks and Schweizer have a lot of room to play around with different pairings, and their such an unlikely group that the possibilities are really exciting. A fake ad and fan club notice complete the issue.
The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #1 is on sale now from Image Comics.