ZN Indie: New Releases USA #68

aftershock


The Vineyard #1

original edition: AfterShock Comics
Script: Brian Hawkins
He drew: Sami Kivela
Color: Jason Wordie
lettering: Taylor Esposito
Format: Staple, 32 pages.
Price: $3.99

Good wine requires a good sacrifice. In the vineyards of this series, the sacrifice is human lives in the name of Dionysus, the god of wine, who in return blesses the harvest each year. Or so the head of the Vines family (very unsubtle name, really) and his son believe, a belief that the mother does not share. Family conflict is inevitable; If disputes often arise within a family for things less than murders in the name of a forgotten god, there is nothing to suggest that they will be happy in this family.

In favor of the series: the authors, brian hawkins Y Sami KivelaThey never lose the north. Its characters form the core of the story and all the terror in The Vineyard it serves the purpose of dissecting the dysfunctions in a family that does not share the same values. There is nothing gratuitous or excessive just to sell comics based on shocking readers. The drawing of Kivelathanks to the colors of Jason Wordieturns a scene as peaceful as a vineyard into a ghostly place.

Against the series: this first episode lacks momentum. More for the work of the writer than for that of the cartoonist. hawkins he plays it safe in this first issue, limiting himself to presenting plot and characters, and missing the opportunity to surprise or delve deeper into the ideas he examines. Some scenes seem long and redundant. Was it necessary for a secondary character to tell the reader that such a good wine can only be obtained “by dealings with the devil”?

Assessment: For those who are interested in a curious comic about worshipers of Dionysus.

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IDW Publishing

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Dark Spaces: Wildfire #1

original edition: IDW Publishing
Script: Scott Snyder
He drewHayden Sherman
Color: Ronda Pattinson
lettering: Andworld Design
Format: Staple, 32 pages.
Price: $3.99

Scott Snyder, being originally from the world of literature, is prone to verbiage in his comics, a trait that often works against him. One never really knows what to expect from a comic written by him, but usually in the indie American always puts his best face forward, largely because his ill-fated attempts to imitate his friend Grant Morrison are reserved for his superhero series at DC Comics. Dark Spaces: Wildfireco-created with Hayden Shermanis a good proof of this.

During one of the worst fires in California history, five forest firefighters, perhaps fed up with risking their lives for a society that does not appreciate their work, make a wrong decision that will lead to their downfall. As expected, Snyder he expands at ease on each page, but each line of text serves to humanize the protagonists of the work, to allow us to understand their fateful decision. The intimate text boxes are superimposed with great effect on the wonderful drawings of sherman, which alternates double pages in which the protagonists are nothing more than tiny figures before unleashed fires and incessant rains of ashes that atrophy lungs with other pages where we see bruised faces, injured hands, smiles of camaraderie. There is a particularly impressive and successful double page of which the cartoonist is proud and there are plenty of reasons for it. the colorist round pattinson understand that there is only one right way to bring pencils to life sherman: the fire and nature of California have intense and precious colors, which contrast with the grayish and muted tones that await the protagonists in their lives outside the forest.

The result of the union of the prose of Snyderthe drawing of sherman and the colors of Pattinson it’s the kind of intimate, epic comic that the writer dreams of every day but never manages to create in his superhero works. In a single issue, the authors have managed to put me in the shoes of its five protagonists, make me feel the struggles of these women as mine and want to see them succeed despite the fate that awaits them. I wish I could look away, but now it’s impossible.

Assessment: Excellent debut for IDW’s new auteur comics initiative. Recommended to all readers who want to read a good thriller.

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Image Comics

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Rogue’s Gallery #1

original edition: Image Comics
Script: Hannah Rose May (story by Hanna Rose May and Declan Shalvey)
He drew: Justin Mason
Color: Triona Farrell
lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhau
Format: Staple, 32 pages.
Price: $3.99

There’s nothing more off-putting on social media than an immature fan’s reaction if their favorite franchise is taking a direction they don’t like. But what if several toxic fans went further and decided to raid the home of the actress they believe is ruining her favorite superhero? In the opinion of the newcomer screenwriter Hannah RoseMaythe situation would lead to a lot of violence.

That does not mean that the writer is lazy and is resorting to something as universal as blows and blood to alleviate a lack of ideas or experience. On the contrary, the author offers us one of the most accurate portraits of the fandom “toxic” that can be read in the indie American. His characters are not a parody, but an exact replica of the crazy fans we would find on Twitter complaining about the latest Star Wars news. This class of fans from time to time goes overboard like the characters in this comic; perhaps not to the extent that we see in this comic, but therein lies the greatest success of the script: to make it plausible that a group of people come to identify in such a way with an entertainment franchise that, influenced by social networks, they are ready to commit nonsense

Drawing this sinister story we have Justin Mason, cartoonist specialized in superheroes who knows how to contain himself when the situation requires it. He has the invaluable help of triona farrell, whose colors accentuate the differences between reality and the perverse fiction in which the characters want to live. The work of both has resulted in an action comic with the necessary dynamism to make us enjoy the blows and also with a realistic aftertaste that reminds us that these fans do not exist only in comics.

The blood does not flow until reaching the last page of the comic, a great moment, the culmination of the authors taking their creatures to the extreme. They leave me wanting to read what will happen to them and their victim. And to see a lot of blood.

Assessment: Surprising debut whose official synopsis does not do it justice. For those who are fed up with fan wars on Twitter and those who want a series of the subgenre home invasion

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Above Snakes #1

original edition: Image Comics
Script: Sean Lewis
He drewHayden Sherman
ColorHayden Sherman
lettering: Hassan Otsmane-Elhau
Format: Staple, 32 pages.
Price: $3.99

The scripts of the Image comics, despite not having the publisher to an editor to coerce the authors, tend to have certain features in common. It doesn’t matter the genre, the plot or the profile of the authors: there will probably be a hero who needs a personal therapy session and lives an adventure whose tone and structure is influenced by Breaking Bad or the series/film of the moment. And, of course, there will be some surreal and quirky element (for example, an inflatable doll as a bride) involved to make us laugh a little and think that the comic is unique and inimitable.

Above Snakes, western with elements of fantasy, it comes dangerously close to this kind of Image brand comic. It is saved from a negative evaluation thanks to two things: the wonderful illustrations of Hayden Sherman and the cunning of Sean Lewis, who understands that there is no better way to use tropes than to use them to guide the reader and avoid unnecessary explanations. By stripping the script of all superfluous elements that do not contribute anything to the story of revenge that we want to narrate, lewis Y sherman they can put all their attention on fun situations and a rhythm that prevents them from getting bored, two ingredients that they prove to dominate in this number.

Assessment: Remarkable debut of a series that will please fans of cowboys thirsty for revenge.

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The Magic Order 3 #1

original edition: Image Comics/Netflix
Script: Mark Miller
He drew: Gigi Cavenago
Color: Valentina Napolitano
lettering: Clem Robins
Format: Staple, 32 pages.
Price: $3.99

The first issue of a series written by Mark Millar it can never or should never be interpreted as predicting the final quality of that series. The screenwriter perfectly masters the art of writing promising beginnings, but not so much that of bringing his ideas to fruition. However, why deny it, including a Millar comic in this section usually generates a higher number of visits than usual, so I cannot waste the opportunity to talk about this third volume of The Magic Order.

As I did the second volume, which concluded only a few months ago, The Magic Order 3 leads the Moonstone wizarding clan out of America, in this case to the Asian continent. Again, as expected, thousand demonstrates knowing how to write a correct introductory story, with good ideas and an intriguing plot. The characters haven’t evolved at all since the first volume, just one trait that defines them (“the rebellious daughter,” “the patriarch,” etc.), but they’re likeable, and the writer makes good use of their one-dimensional personalities.

However, Millar’s greatest success is found outside the vignettes: Gigi Cavenago, a seasoned Italian cartoonist drawing Dylan Dog, turns out to be a great choice for this volume. In his hands the series retains the glamor of Olivier Coipel and the spectacular nature of Stuart Immonen, cartoonists of the first and second volumes respectively, and also enters the horror genre with total ease. For something he is one of the most popular cartoonists of the Bonelli publishing house. And if he also has the help of the colorist Valentina Napolitano, incredibly versatile and with a great eye for finding the right tones for the scene, because we are talking about one of Image’s most beautiful comics this year. Even if Millar’s story ends up being as big a disappointment as that of Prodigydrawing and color could even justify reading.

Assessment: Must buy for fans of Mark Millar and, if any, fans of The Magic Order. If you like the art of the series and you don’t expect a high-level script, you will surely like it. The rest, wait for the review of the full volume.

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ZN Indie: New Releases USA #68