Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Black Sea Sickness

By FJ XA (I think)

This is one of those zines that I thought looked really cool on first impression, but the more time I spent with it, the less I actually enjoyed it.

The cover seems really neat, using harsh blacks, with zipatone style shading (which I love!). The same style is continued inside, and at times it reminded me of art by Nikki Stu and Warwick Johnson Cadwell. (Both of whom I've utterly lost track of since moving back to Candada, dang.)

But while the art looks fine for all those huge solid blacks, any time it goes into more delicate linework a major problem arises. It's really fucking pixely and ugly. And not awesome pixel art, but just that the lines are incredibly jagged. I think the art work must have been scanned in at too low a resolution, as I can't really imagine the author wanting their work to look like this.

The art itself still looks pretty damn awesome when I look at it from a distance. It features monsters, magic, and some imagery that is kind of frightening (though I guess I find the idea of solid black tentacle-entities moving around scarier than other people might).

There's no real story to speak of, I mean, I guess things happen on some of the pages, but that's really all it is, things happening. There is no dialogue and what little text there is features the same style as the cover (which it took me about a million years before I realized said "Black Sea Sickness", and not just "Black Sickness", for whatever reason I just couldn't parse it).

While I find this an intriguing zine, I'm not sure if I could ever recommend it because of the problems with the art reproduction. I would be interested in seeing more work by the author, but a google search for the title just leads to a spam site trying to sell drugs.

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