As I read this graphic novel, I could sense that there parts that were rushed by or just skipped. It gives you a great core of the story, the presentation is awesome, but I don’t get a deeper connection to it. I’m left with more questions. Could this be a clever ploy to get me to read the second volume? Possibly.
I’m not an expert on comic books or graphic novels. I tend to get bored with long character histories or frustrated that I can’t connect to anything. I’m also very,very,very picky about what I will read and collect. Just to give you an idea of comic book lifestyle, I am a huge fan of “Fables”,” The Walking Dead” (the comics, the show has disappointed me), “Harbringer”, Elektra, X-23 (currently obsessed with “Avengers Arena”), and “Strangers in Paradise”. This is not including all the manga that I have. What I love and follow in the comic book world usually doesn’t follow the mainstream river. I am in no means a hipster about it. I just pick comics that I love to read. As for graphic novels, here’s my criteria for judging them:
- how does the cover art measure? Does it connect with the story?
- How is the story?
- Any awesome characters?
- How does it end?
- Do I want to continue reading this?
So let me begin to dissect this graphic novella.
“Archeologists of Shadows”. That is an awesome title. One of the reasons I chose to review this. I figured the story was going to have a post-apocalyptic feel or some dark essence. The cover art already shows me that this is going to be aesthetic I will love looking at.
Whether your a comic book junkie, a casual reader, or never even known these types of media exists, I urge you to pick a graphic novel. It could be this one or another one. It reminds me a little bit of “The Amory Wars” and “Mirrormask”. Areas of haziness slightly obscuring bits of details. The two main characters are smack dab in the middle of the busy cover, Alix and Baltimo. Both character design reminds me of “9”mixed with Final Fantasy. Both very cool designs.
Baltimo and Alix are mainly robotic creatures with some organic parts. Other creatures in the world are the same way. Currency is exchanging organic parts like hair. On route to some unknown destination, they were captured by a police like squad who takes them to a checkpoint. We see that “Alix” and “Baltimore” are 20% mechanized and are warned that if they continue stay in this state, they will be taken to a detention center and forced to go the remaining way. A seemingly nice stranger offers them the chance to escape or stay. No surprise, they jump off the train and begin their adventure.
There isn’t too much backstory to be gleaned. It leaves a lot of questions in my mind. Were these creatures human? Is that why they have organic parts? Why are organic parts currency? What are they used for?What is mechanization?Why is this important? Is there a dictatorship going on? Many questions but I am still intrigued to go forward.
Surprisingly it was’t the main characters that were awesome. It was the old lady in the street. Seriously Bad-Ass.
It ends with a cliff hanger. Hoorah.
I want to continue to read this to see if my questions will be answered. By the end of the book, I already got the sense that there is a large religious theme going on. Religious themes usually turn me off unless it’s used in a very creative way. My guess is that the religion in this book is very twisted and misguided. Either way, I would continue to read this and see if my esteem will rise from it.
For a small press studio, the graphic novella is ok but I would love to see some additions in the story line department especially with back story. I want to know why Alix and Baltimo are important. The art is beautiful and wonderful to look at. I just love the steampunk designed characters, absolutely stunning.
If you get a chance to peruse this, definitely do so. I love supporting up and coming artists whether it be writers, artists, or such. Or if you love steampunk and comics, this would be a good one to add to your collections.
Length: Graphic Novel
Primary Book Format: print
Publisher/Imprint: Septagon Studios
Blush Quotient: none
Smart Girls Rating: 3
Archeologists Of Shadows, Volume 1: The Resistance was written by Lara Fuentes with art by Patricio Clarey. You can find out more at www.aoscomic.com.