When the idea of me writing something for ye olde Geek Hard website was first presented to me by one Mr. Andrew Young, he let me know that he’d like me to talk comics in some capacity. Of course, I was welcome to trundle away to my hovel and try to think of some other topics on which to base a regular column but that’s the direction he was leaning. So trundle I did, and think I did, for though I’m a “comic guy” there are a great many geeky things that I love on this big blue marble and I dig talking about them all. So I mused, and I thought, and I pondered, hell, I even ruminated… And after way too much of that thinking I thought a brilliant thought, “Hey! I’ll write a column about comics!”
I’m a motherfucking genius.
As covered last week, I’ll be reviewing indie comics as well as rarities or overlooked comics from any damn publisher I please during the course of my tenure here at Geek Hard, which brings us to this: the first edition of YOU’RE SO WEIRD, MULTIVERSE! where I’ll actually be reviewing something instead of explaining how I’ll be reviewing something… Right after I finished… explaining how I’ll be… reviewing something… Yeah…
THIS WEEK, I’ll be taking a crack at my very first indie comics review. Let’s begin, shall we?
ARCHEOLOGIST OF SHADOWS – BOOK 1 – The Resistance
Published by Septagon Studios
Lara Fuentes – Writer , Patricio Clarey – Artist
ARCHEOLOGISTS OF SHADOWS (AOS) is a weird ass comic, and I mean that in the absolute best way possible.
The book is a sci-fi/steampunk adventure set in a future society in which all organic matter, including humans, is slowly being mechanized by order of the Authorities. Much of the populace lives aboard the No-Destination train, slowly being transformed into purely robotic beings with no explanation as to why other than it being “God’s Will”.
Sounds pretty interesting, right? It is, but the over-arching plot tends to veer towards the cliche “ill-prepared saviours emerge from humble origins to become heroes central to the rebellion” narrative. That said, the world-building going on as well the specifics of the tale are tremendously intriguing and if that was all this book had going for it, it would still be better off than half of the indie books currently available. Luckily for Septagon, that’s not the case as the artwork takes it to another level.
I can honestly say that I’ve never seen comic art quite like what’s on display in AOS. It’s goddamn Fumetti on steroids. Artist Patricio Clarey employs an art style described by Septagon Studios as one “that combines drawing, sculpture, photography, photo manipulation, and digital painting” to relay the tale and it’s just as awesome and insane as it sounds. The textural depth that you’re getting in this comic is beyond anything that I’ve ever seen. Books that’ve attempted anything similar to what’s going on in AOS have always ended up appearing muddy or hard to follow in my estimation, and while at times the art of comic storytelling may not be executed as well as I’d like, what Clarey puts on the page is never anything short of stunning.
Sure, there are some obvious shortcomings in the dialogue and lettering work but I feel like they’re heavily outweighed by the artistic beauty at work here. You need to scope this book out simply because it’s nothing you’ve ever seen before. If AOS is what he’s putting together using a style he just began working with, I can’t wait to see what Clarey will be producing 10 years from now.
Overall, I’m recommending this title to folks who’re fans of sci-fi/steampunk/fantasy or just really cool comics, because, hey, you can’t go wrong with a 100 pg digital graphic novel that’ll only put you out a buck.
What medium other than comics is gonna provide me with a mishmash of crazy like the one I just laid down for you and present it on such a beautiful platter, dear reader?
That’s what I thought.
You’re so WEIRD, Multiverse!
And that’s why I love you.
Remember, if you’re gonna GEEK OUT, GEEK HARD!
Follow Kris on Twitter @krisjjohnson
Recent Columns: You’re So WEIRD, Multiverse: The Beginning!