Eat The Rich is, in many ways, a story that has been told time and time again. It’s a combination of class disparity and horror, as the discomfort of being somebody of a lower class amid an upper-class group is highlighted through the use of suspenseful storytelling techniques. This can be a very successful combination, as the 2019 Academy Award, Best Picture winner Parasite will attest. It can be a tricky story to tell, however, requiring both a deep understanding of class dynamics to ensure neither side comes across as a caricature and a hook to help set the series apart from its competitors.
As the opening chapter of this story, this issue, written by Sarah Gailey, focuses on introducing our characters and setting. The main character, Joey Dorsey, is a young woman brought to the beachside town of Crestfall Bluffs to meet her boyfriend’s family. Joey is the centre of this issue, and to the book’s credit, it does a good job of establishing who she is. She’s forgetful and a bit of an introvert, but most of all, she’s kind.
That kindness is not appreciated in Crestfall Bluffs, however; while Joey’s boyfriend Astor’s family professes to treat their staff as a part of their family, it’s made clear by the nanny that Joey’s treating the staff kindly will only result in rejection. True kindness seems to be alien to Astor’s family.
This is a series that has very little room for ambiguity; you’re either on Joey’s side or not, and the visuals do a masterful job of conveying this idea. I’m a big fan of the colour work in this issue by Roman Titov. Joey and the things in her comfort zone are depicted in a calming blue, while the unknown is coloured a blood-red. This colouring manages to accurately convey Joey’s state of mind at all times throughout the issue, which is important for an issue so focused on mood as this one.
It is complemented well by Pius Bak’s line art, rendering people and objects in crisp, clean, and simple lines, which composes layouts where this colour palette can really shine without being too conspicuous. Cardinal Rae does a great job on lettering here, using a variety of lettering effects to portray emphasis and tone. Rae’s balloon placement is also strong, trailing across panels and highlighting the divides between characters.
Eat The Rich #1 has all the pieces for the start of an enjoyable miniseries. And while it may not be the quality of Parasite, few things are. Hopefully, the rest of the series manages to follow through.