Monday, July 8, 2013

The Archer

If you just looked at the cover of this comic you might think that it was a medieval or fantasy tale about a Robin Hood type character. And you'd be completely wrong.

This is a comic about a major event (a death) in the modern day, the steps that led up to it for the various people involved, and the resolution. It could definitely give more background about the characters and their motivations, but what is there is presented in a really interesting manner. In the first part there is no dialogue, and the character who appears is never shown to speak. Yet through their actions (both in the present day and flashbacks) we get a look at who they are and why they're doing what they're doing.

In the second part of the story there is dialogue, and a conversation in a car is portrayed using many small panels with no gutter between the border, a large contrast to earlier scenes in the comic which occurred outside and lacked any sort of panel border at all! This succeeds in making the car seem cramped, and showing the speed at which things happen. The third part again lacks dialogue, but this time we're inside a character's head and we're able to see their internal thoughts.

Artwise Doyle uses a style that features a lot of lines to give definition and texture to the characters and the scenes. The variation between styles of panels I mentioned above really shows the amount of thought that went into this comic, and I really appreciate that. The one problem I do have with the art is that sometimes the portrayal of motion is not successful, and instead of moving the characters look stiff and posed. Still, I ended up enjoying this comic far more than I thought I would based on the first part of the story.

(I feel as though I've been reviewing too many minicomics and not enough zines recently. Hopefully that will change in the near(ish) future?)

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