POSTAL VOL. 1 (Image, First Printing, June, 2015; Softcover)
Collects Postal #1-4 (cover dates February- May, 2015)
Writers: Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill
Artist: Isaac Goodhart
Colorist: Betsy Gonia
Flawed from the outset, Postal is a premise that my suspension of disbelief cannot buy since it is set in 2015. If they had set this series 20 or more years in the past it might have worked, but the notion of a town that has cellphone jammers and other means to keep the outside world out makes no sense in our dystopian Google Earth future of the present. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the very beginning as to why this series doesn't work.
Mark Shiffron is an employee of the United States Postal Service who delivers the mail for the entire town of Eden, Wyoming. The only Postal employee for an entire city, according to the back cover of the book. Whenever he comes across a mutilated letter it is also his job to transcribe it. Okay, right there they lost me. No one at the Post Office transcribes letters for anyone. If a letter comes in mutilated it is thrown into what is affectionately referred to as a “body bag”, which is one of those We Care plastic bags that has a disclaimer/apology on the back. Letters are automated and machine accidents happen on occasion. The Post Office handles way too much mail for something as time consuming as transcribing every single piece that gets damaged, and if it did do such a thing it wouldn't fall on the carrier to do it. It would be the job of someone else. But that's just it. There is supposedly no one else working there. No window clerks. No mail handlers sorting the mail or packages. Just one lone carrier.
This carrier is supposed to cover 2,198 stops, the entire town, by himself? Are they all PO boxes? If they were PO boxes they would be the job of a box clerk. Also, if they were PO boxes, why does he deliver the letter to the house of the person whose letter was mutilated? If this a walking or driving route there is no way that he can cover all 2,198 stops by himself. A walking route is usually 400-500 stops, more in areas with lower volume (those are usually 600-700 stops). A mounted route might be in the 600-800 stop range for an eight hour assignment. There is simply no way that a carrier could deliver the entire city himself, unless it was NDCBU cluster boxes, and even that sounds too high to me. Shiffron is shown with a satchel full of mail at one point, making this a park and loop walking route. So there is no way that one carrier can do an entire town in one eight hour day.
The town of Eden was founded on a dark premise, one which I cannot buy in our brave new world where you can see your house online via a satellite in space. If you like your concepts with holes big enough to drive a semi truck through then Postal is for you. I would think that a writer would research the job that they are writing about and basing their entire concept on, but hey, what do I know? Needless to say I won't be buying Volume 2 of this series.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 2 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Image makes nice books.
Paper stock: Glossy coated stock.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Thick waxlike lamination.