Taxi goes deep!
On the trail of some drug smugglers, Taxi’s persistence to land the story gets her in trouble yet again.
100 Meters Deep Into the Credits
Published by: SAF Comics
Number of Pages: 48
Original Publication: 1990-ish
What’s Going On?
Nelson is getting anonymous tips leading to a big drug dealer’s suspected shipments. He checks out the story with Taxi, only to discover that the story is true, but more surprising and weirder than they initially thought.
This one is pretty straight forward. While the last volume’s story involves a multi-continent race for survival and politics between warring factions, this one is a simple drug bust. It’s the police, the news media, and the drug dealers high on the cliffs of the shoreline.
But who is tipping them off? How are the drugs being delivered? Who can you trust? And will Taxi’s nose for news get her in deadly danger?
Of course! That’s the point of the book, isn’t it? Font creates another mystery with some good old fashioned investigation at its core, some personality clashes, and a strong-willed main character who insists on doing her job.
All of that leads to an enjoyable read. It’s light reading, but it’s also the more straight forward story of the series. Font lays everything out clearly, and even when things change, it’s easy to keep track of everyone.
Taxi, The Beautiful 80s Woman
Throughout the series, Font has drawn Taxi to be a very attractive woman with a penchant for wearing clothes that, while not exactly skimpy, were never the most conservative things in the world. Yes, there’s a bit of good girl art in this book, but not much more than what you see in something like Alessandro Barbucci’s art in “Ekho.” There’s the obligatory shower scene, of course, and an assortment of trendy (for the time period this book was published) clothes.
It hasn’t been anything gratuitously in your face, so I just rolled with it. What artist doesn’t enjoy drawing beautiful women, after all?
This book, for the finale, seemed to push it a little further. Taxi wears a dress where the top’s plunging neckline practically goes to her belly button and I have no idea how she keeps from falling out of it. And in a scene where you’d expect her to don a wetsuit to dive on the hunt for something, she’s instead in a string bikini.
So, yes, there’s some extra cheesecake in this book over previous ones, but at least she acts like a human. As revealing as some of her clothing choices are, Font isn’t drawing her constantly pushing her shoulders back and her hips out.
It’s So 90s
I originally grabbed this panel to illustrate Taxi’s clothing choices in this book and Font’s less-than-conservative camera angles, but I noticed something else I thought I’d bring up.
Font isn’t drawing this series in a traditional way where you could split each page in half and each would have two tiers of panels. He’s fairly restrained in his storytelling, keeping the tiers and nothing all that splashy. There are some larger panels, but no full page splashes or anything.
This sequence of Taxi investigating underwater is of interest for all the times Font breaks the panel borders. Taxi is above and beyond the panels here, with legs and more crossing those imaginary lines and overlapping neighboring panels.
This is a tricky move to pull off, and it most associated with the splashy art styles of the early 90s, which is about when this book was drawn. It’s like Font was incorporating some of the trends of the time in his own work, but still much more toned down than what you might have seen in “X-Force” or “X-Men” at the time.
Either that, or it’s a complete coincidence. It’s tough to tell. I don’t picture Font sitting in his Spanish studio, flipping through Rob Liefeld comics. It’s not like the internet was around. But I wonder if it is something he saw at the time.
That said, it’s still weird that in that last panel break, one leg overlaps a panel below her, but the other leg gets cut off at the foot for going above. That’s another example of how difficult it is to stick to “the rules” when breaking panel borders like this.
How to Hide Exposition
A book like this carries a lot of action scenes. There’s also a great variety. You have multiple instances of action in flight, from both planes and helicopters. You get shootouts in the street, struggles underwater, and tussles on dry ground, as well.
In-between all that, though, you need to cover the plot. There’s a lot of talking heads in here, and scantily-clad Taxi will only cover up so much of it. To be fair, she does spend most of the book looking more clothed than the examples above may lead you to believe.
So Font creates situations with nice visuals to keep the reader’s eyes interested.
Check out this sequence where Taxi and Nelson have a chat while walking through a particularly colorful part of town. It’s like a travel bureau hired him to include their town in his book. This is the best kind of free advertising.
It reminds me a little bit of some of the towns you see in “Ghost of Gaudi,” too.
If there’s anything to say against this half of a page, it’s that it’s too busy. All of that intricate detail work and bright colors fight for your attention with the word balloons that take up so much of the page. I love it anyway, though.
Font keeps a distance between the reader and the characters that allows him to show off the local decor as much as it does leave him enough space to place those balloons. It’s also not a highlight emotional part of the book, so you don’t need to zoom in closely on the characters to read their emotions.
This has been my very special episode of “Strip Panel Naked.” Thanks for watching…
Waiting for Multimedia
This book really feels like an episode of a television series. I could see a “Taxi” type of series very easily. She’d have to fight her way out of more situations in 2019 than she did in 1990, and the newspaper setting would need a bit of a tweak. But the bones are all there. You have three or four characters in the supporting cast ready to go, including a handsome grizzled reporter who may or may not be a romantic interest, the weird technical assistant, and the boss who can handle the politics.
It would have to be a streaming series, though, because it would need a large budget to pull off all the locations the episodes would need. I suppose they could work around that, too.
Reboot This Book?
Sadly, this is the last book Font ever did in this world. I’d love to see more. The premise is wide enough open that Font could have done whatever he wanted to do with it. I guess something else came up, or maybe it didn’t even sell that well. I don’t know.
Taxi is still the kind of character you want to root for. There’s a lot more character work to be done with her and Nelson, as well, and whatever their relationship actually is.
It would be interesting to see someone pick up this series and tell more stories in this world. It would almost have to be a reboot, for the reasons I laid out in the previous section.
Taxi in 2019 would be a true crime podcaster researching her stories or a blogger trying to get some hits or something.
Yes, it is. I like the little twist and the simpler storyline for this book. Font’s art, as always, is beautiful. I wish there was more to read, but I’m glad we got this much and that it introduced me to the great art of Font.
— 2019.034 —
Other Works By Font
Buy It Now
The back of this book has a couple of pages of sketchbook/pin-up work. Here’s a sample: