Beatrice is Dead
Staff: S. Zainab Williams and Robert Burrows
This is going to be a fairly short review. 100% disclosure: I did not get though the entire comic. I got about 30 pages in and I couldn’t read further. I have been reading a LOT of really dark comics recently and I don’t feel I can objectively review this comic’s tone or theme as a result. It’s really tasking on the psyche to read so many of them. Thus this review will not include a score at the end.
The art in this comic is downright gorgeous, stylized, and fitting to its dark tone. I loved how the incorporated non-illustrated page elements as part of the graphic design (like a business card, etc). However, something that really bothered me was the text avalanche on the “book” pages. Comics are a visual and literary medium. It really destroyed the overall flow of the book. I’ve seen successful illustrated novels but tossing 5 pages of text 10 pages in then interspersing it throughout the book is not a wise choice. Those pages felt very cheap and there were some good visuals I’d like to have seen. Watchmen did this fantastically with the “Tales of the Black Freighter” subplot in the book and their little inserts. This just felt like they ran out of art budget. Let me also add, in closing, that this book had a good premise going for it. It just didn’t grab me because I’ve been reading a lot of other dark/gritty comics recently.