Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Comic Quickies Debut Triple Threat

Nonplayer #1: Despite being up against some tough competition in the debut department, Nonplayer stands out as my favorite.  In fact, I pretty much fell in love with this one from the first page.  Nonplayer begins in the MMORPG world of Jarvath where a virtual assassination is strangely met with life-like response.  From the looks of things, the lines between reality and virtual reality are going to get pretty blurry in this futuristic fantasy tale.

 The first, and most striking quality of Nonplayer is the absolutely gorgeous art.  I may be a bit of a comic newbie, but Nate Simpson's artwork is hands down the most beautiful comic art I've ever laid eyes on.  Every panel of every page is filled with meticulously detailed and imaginative art, and it is truly an awesome sight to behold.  That being said, the artwork isn't the only strength of Nonplayer.

This debut issue sports some great writing as well.  The opening half of the issue builds up to, and delivers a great action sequence.  From there, we catch a glimpse into the regular everyday life of the main character, and Simpson adds some nice touches, some that are rather subtle,  that make her easy to relate to on a human level.  After watching her do some epic ninja shit in the opening half, it was good to see the normal side of her. I thought the character building was deftly handled. 

On top of the strong character building, Simpson also managed to fit in world building both on the virtual, and non-virtual worlds that his comic features.  It might sound like a packed issue, and it is, but it doesn't seem crammed at all.  By the end, I immediately wanted to read the next issue.  A sure sign of a winner.

Green Wake #1:  Up next in this debut studded Comic Quickies, is the crime noir title, Green Wake.  This one starts out with a gristly murder, and a missing suspect.  The mystery element of this comic hits on three levels.  The first is the murder mystery itself, which is looking to be pretty interesting.  The second is the town of Green Wake itself, that seems to be some sort of lodestone for the decrepit and the lonely.  The third is the main character, Morley Mack, who seems to have a pretty mysterious past.  All these elements play nicely together to make for a damn interesting story.

After reading this one, I feel like I have basically no idea what is going on, but that sense of feeling lost is tampered with the fact that as I read I got the sense that this comic is gonna have a great slow-burn pace to it, and that everything will eventually unfold in good time.

Kurtis J. Wiebe's writing is dark and gritty, and Riley Rossmo's art fits the feel of the comic perfectly.  I'm very excited to see where this one is leading.  

Blue Estate #1: Another crime/mystery story here, but with a totally different feel.  Blue Estate takes place in Hollywood, and has a bit of Hollywood-ized crime feel to it.  The majority of the issue is back story that sets up what will be the conflict for the series.  As with Green Wake, I feel a little bit lost in the early stages of this one, but there are plenty of cool elements (drugs, starlets, ex-KGB agents, money laundering, etc.) at play to make this one worth reading.

I had a bit of a hard time getting into this one because of the art.  The problem was that the issue featured four different artists, each with a different style, and for me it broke up the flow of the story a bit.  There were times when a character would not look quite the same as he or she had earlier in the book, and I had to double check to make sure it was the same person.  Those types of things took me out of the flow a little bit, and took away from the enjoyment.  I'm not sure if the multi-artist approach is gonna continue throughout the series, or if that is a one issue type deal.

Still, a pretty solid comic, and one that I'm looking forward to seeing more of in the future.

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