Friday, March 25, 2011

7String Volume Zero

By Nich Angell

This big, glossy, full colour comic is filled with impressive art and some pretty cool action, but it is more definitively a zero issue. This means that it gives some background info about the characters, has some (really nice) pin ups, and features a couple of short comics. They all help to set the up the world that Angell is creating, but the major story he's working on clearly hasn't happened yet.

That story is explained in the opening text page, which is probably the weakest part of the comic. Not the ideas, which feature a maniacal villain trying to destroy the "eternal cosmic melody" by stealing a magic flute and an "elite group of cosmic musicians" creating a seven stringed sword instrument to save the universe. But rather parts of the text are a bit awkward and could have used one more rewrite. Generally the short comics don't fall into this problem, but I guess Angell's skills lie more in drawing some pretty awesome pictures instead of paragraph after paragraph of text.

The first comic is a three pager with the main character, Zachary Briarpatch, facing off against a cowboy type character, and the thing it reminded me of the most is the pre-credits action bit at the beginning of certain cartoons and TV shows. We're introduced to the main character, see that he can do awesome things that are beyond the abilities of normal people ("But, that's impossible... No-one can harmonize that fast"), and defeats the bad guy. The end! It's a compliment to Angell's art style and use of colour that I can easily see it as the intro to a cartoon. The sound effects make noises in my head and I'm kind of upset when the opening credits don't come up and then we head into the longer incredible adventure.

Looking at Angell's art it's clear to see that his inspirations are manga, video games, and cartoons, but his combination of all these aspects is original and looks really amazing. Part of this is down to his fantastic use of colour, which at times reminded me of the teaser trailer of Molly Star Racer (did anyone actually watch the show that eventually came out? Was it any good?).

Design-wise Angell's characters are more human than those in MSR (noses!), though they are still fairly stylized, featuring incredibly pointy knees, and haircuts that can only exist in a comic book.

The only major failing of Angell's art is that at times I find his faces aren't up to the standard of the rest of the art, being less detailed and looking a bit strange at times. Upon realizing this I then wonder if Angell has designed his main character's hair so that he doesn't have to bother drawing his eyes. Hmm...

The action sequences sing, the colours pop, the story seems like it's going to rock, and to be honest I'm having a hard time thinking up any more music related analogies. I can't wait until Angell finishes this and I can read the whole thing.

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