Writer: Sam Read
Artist: Caio Oliveira
Colourist: Ruth Redmond
Letters and production: Colin Bell
Cover: Ramon Villalobos
Editor: Adam P. Knave
Fantastic art, engaging premise, and John Woo flicks.
So I got an email this morning asking me to review this from the writer. It’s a punky scifi story with a lot of heart. I normally sigh when I hear “this is my first real attempt at a comic” (See Legacy) . Lets see if this one fares any better as
Visually this comic is a lot of fun. There is a very distinct palpable punk vibe to the artstyle that kind of reminds me of an amalgam of Genndy Tartakovsky’s TV work and Jamie Hewlett’s early stuff (There is a thick stroke, a lot of pop culture references, etc). A mastery of expression, form, perspective, visual focus and anatomy are on display in this comic. I was actually approached to review this so I know this is the first real work of this team and I am going to remove my cap here and give them a salute- well done mates. There is a very unique artistic style that you instantly fall in love with that meshes with the tone so well that it is seamless. I wish half the mainstream comics had this level of investiture in their artistic aspects (I’m looking at you DC with your ).
In terms of lettering the first page gives us a bit of an eyesore. It is this tiny, spidery, thin text over a black and white background for the copyright and it makes it unbelievably hard to read. The text IN the comic though is actually professional grade with some very nice use of the occasional onomatopoeia.
The plot is told through very apparent context clues we pick up visually with minimal text. For example, we get text that tells us “United states declares martial law” and we get some soldiers next to a sign that displayed the population and graffiti that says “Full Like everywhere else”. They also interweave the very personal story of a family affected by the events in the plot so we can both get a first person view of it and an almost retrospective historical view of it. The introduction takes 9 or 10 pages and then drops us into the real story. I’d normally chastise the writer for dumping exposition on us, but it was woven in with the personal stories so well that it felt like legitimate plot and provided us with a tangible emotional connection with one of the characters. It didn’t feel like “LORE” dropped on us like a heavy book, rather it was more like an introduction to a character.
The characters are human and real with quirks and tastes. For example, I love how much the gifts the protagonist’s parents get him reveal about him. It is so expressive of who he is and what he likes that it tells us more in one scene about him than most characters get in an entire comic. I got a very Goichi Suda (Aka: Suda51, Aka: The guy who made Killer7, No More Heroes, Lollipop Chainsaw, etc) vibe from it. There were a LOT of pop culture references that informed us of the kind of media our protagonist was consuming.
The dialogue is well written with only a few stale lines, but most come off as charming rather than dry. Once we get the ruleians (no spoilers) on the scene, the dialogue gets hilarious. Their speech patterns add food related phrases (delectable, succulent, delicious, etc) at creepily inappropriate times. I mean it was a bit ham handed (pun pun pun) but it was played for laughs and actually results in a pretty decent zinger at the end.
The postscript is worth a read as well (even if thin white text on a black background hurts my eyes a bit). It talks about what my site is all about- getting away from the big two.
In conclusion- stellar work. A lot of passion, a lot of fun, great visuals, and a premise that will keep you coming back. A lot of this comic feels really engaging even though it is talking about day-to-day things (interspliced with “big” things) it feels very action pact. Can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. Check the link below for a free 4 page preview.