Comic Reading Review: Eleanor and The Egret #2

Eleanor & The Egret #2

  • Writer: John Layman Artist: Sam Keith Colorist: Ronda Pattison
  • Published by: Aftershock Comics Publish Date: May 17, 2017
  • Notes: Monthly comic series

Synopsis:

“What kind of thief leaves a single feather at the scene of the crime? Perhaps one that has a talking, painting-eating, oversized Egret as a pet—a pet that gets more oversized the more paintings he eats! Sounds fun, right? Except for some of the people now determined to stop this thief, who is anything but!”

Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):

This is the most long-awaited second issue of a new series in recent memory. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the first issue of Eleanor and the Egret for its awesome writing and introductions from John Layman (best known for Chew). And, I also enjoyed the return of the magnificent art stylings of the creator of Sam Keith (best known for The Maxx).  So here I am, with the second issue at last. Does it carry on the momentum?

From the first few pages, there is a bit of prologue setting up of a possible foil to Eleanor and her giant white avian partner; Detective Belanger. A distinguished style is carried in his stature and composure with the hat, trench coat, curvy thin mustache, and a cat (!). Such exhibits confidence in his investigations but there some odd placement and attention to the surrounding zoo settings, which challenges the thinking of Detective Belanger. The zoo animals present are large, with more detail than the humans. There leads to the idea to me, that perhaps there is more than meets the human eye.

In the next story sequence, Eleanor and the Egret meanwhile steal another painting. Such the act takes time over many pages of beautiful exposition. The artist and colorist do an amazing job of displaying the large panel sequences and happenings of the action and reaction. Each shot with the position of the truck, bird, and figures are perfectly done. The result, exhibits the cleverness of Eleanor and her Egret, as the best-shared asset for their painting stealing goals.

The following pages set-up the players of this curious drama, with bits of back story and droppings of interesting developments. This leads to further revelations (and new questions) of the identities of this brilliant duo. Both and Eleanor are partners in a plan more complex than simple theft, for personal reasons against a particular painter. I am quite anxious on the deeper story of this, and what crazy original reason that I think only the writer John Layman can tell.

Then we meet the painter of the stolen paintings, Anastasia Rue. Her introduction is classy, yet sinister and devious. There is great buildup within the last few pages, of her ruthlessness in seeking out the culprit with a probably personal connection, and perhaps there is more to her than her art. The last page heightens the suspicion, with something that is terrifying and exciting at her request.

Overall, a treat that fans of the first issue will also consume and enjoy. John Layman does a wonderful job with his playful exposition, while Sam Keith’s unique style remains awesome. No pages are wasted in either talent, with great results leading me to impatiently wait for the third issue.

Comic Reading Review: World Reader #1

World Reader

World Reader #1

  • Writer: Jeff Loveness, Artist: Juan Doe
  • Letterer: Rachel Deering
  • Published by: Boom! Entertainment
  • Publish Date: April 19, 2017
  • Notes: The first issue in a monthly series.

Synopsis:

“Meet Sarah, an astronaut traveling from dead planet to dead planet, talking to the ghosts of dead worlds… as she fights to discover the secret that’s killing the universe. But Death doesn’t give up its secrets so easily, and as she’s hunted from planet to planet, Sarah struggles to maintain the trust of her crew and her own sanity in the endless ocean of lives. Every world has a story, and if she can find the secret tying them all together, she can save Earth from being the next world to die.”

Personal Thoughts (big spoilers):

I enjoy stories of discovery and space travel. So, after gazing the first few pages of this at the local comic store, I had to pick the new series up.

In doing so, the World Reader is something a bit more. There’s a bit of the paranormal, seeking new life and new civilizations, 2001 and other titillating aspects of space travel. I think in that, is the belief in the push of discovery and the extent of the unknown are both exciting, yet terrifying. The bigger the wider, the more that can look back at us. Sarah is interesting as an astronaut, finding out the past grandeur in old civilizations, then developing a bond. And, there is a connection tying her discoveries, which is not yet clear but drives interest further.

The art really works here, with the composition of each page, suitable for framing. The color changes, tones, and balance give some extra drama and depth. I like the lettering too,, as the font and style lend well to the book. With the strange visions and mystery to the mix, and the audience can be impressed upon for many issues to come.

The turn towards the end gives new danger and trippiness, and a fresh terror that feels complex and multi-dimensional. The sudden change in color and collapse of dimension gives off an easiness that gives the ending an uncomfortable cliffhanger. It’s hard to foresee what’s ahead in a book like this, which drives my initial curiosity more.

Overall, a great first issue for thrill seekers in science fiction wanting more than the overreaching macho melodrama of galactic warfare and politics. Check it out.