Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Sea Part Three

By Will Kirkby

Dang, it's been like six months since I last read one of these, and almost a year since I read part one. Maybe I have too many things to read. And maybe (probably) I should dig up the first two issues of this series and reread them since upon starting this one I'm a little lost (but I'm not even sure if I still have those issues anymore).

My confusion as to what was going on in this issues makes me think that anyone picking this up without reading the previous two issues might not enjoy it much (though I suppose I could be completely wrong). We're dropped into the middle of a plot, there's a time jump I didn't really get, characters aren't introduced very well, and one of them only speaks Japanese. Okay, so the main character (who's thoughts we are able to read) can't understand him either, and by not translating the speech Kirkby is putting us more into the mindset of the main character, but it's kind of annoying because he's clearlying saying _something_, I just have no idea what.

The story itself invovles captivity, monsters, escapes, amateur surgery, ominous predictions, and similar things. Kirkby uses first person narration to tell most of the story, and unfortunately it doesn't work as well here as it did in issue one. There the character was trapped on a boat and had only himself to talk to for most of the comic, whereas here we have other characters but have no real knowledge of what they're up to.

While the story disappointed me somewhat I continue to enjoy Kirkby's art. He uses a lot of close-up images of the characters heads in his art, each almost filling the panels. These are good at creating a sense of claustrophobia, and I remember them working really well in the earlier comics. However once the characters escape from captivity I'm left longing for bigger images that show more of what's going on. Kirkby at times does leave the four panel grid behind and draw images across an entire page, but all these really do is make me wish that all of the art was bigger and that this had been released in a different format.

If you haven't read any of Kirkby's comics this isn't the best place to start. Instead you should go and pick up issue one of The Sea or the Birdsong anthology he's involved with. He's an excellent artist, and I look forward to seeing what he'll work on next.

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