Devil’s Due Entertainment 2015
Written by Ashley Witter
Illustrated by Ash Maczko
This really is one of the most exquisitely illustrated comics around. I really am infatuated with the work Ash has done here. It’s so incredibly life like and is so full of life and emotion from the folds of a shirt to the ruffling of fur in the wind, including the leaf shadows cast on the characters it’s impossible not to get caught up in this world these animals inhabit.
We open up again in 1985, rural Illinois where we see the boy whose father had to leave to deal with the unknown crisis that leaves the animals once again in charge of our planet. He finds a dog thrown into a lake and rescues it, adopts it and makes it part of his family. Not all humans are monsters and I’m still eager to learn what the even his father is involved in that changes the world forever.
Last issue we saw the fate of Pasha and as he’s taken home those that went off to alert the other soldiers out there that another predator is on the loose. I like the blue tone to the artwork here representing the recent past. I really do like the characterization that we see here this Tin Tin tribe is just trying to survive and the harsh winter didn’t help matters and neither does the shortage of food as well as rival tribes and warring with them. Whether it’s intentional or not this has become so incredibly human in nature to see them worry, fight and struggle with interpersonal relationships and just keeping what they have from being destroyed.
Eli the fox has been with his tribe and acting as something of a double agent but who is he really working for and who is truly betraying is unclear and that has led to suspicion and mistrust again very human emotions. Sure the animals have adapted, their intelligence increased their ability to communicate and use weapons as wear clothing all seemingly becoming more like those that have left leave us with big questions about how and why all this occurred but it’s just gripping and compelling from a reader’s standpoint.
Ashley’s ability to portray these animals acting, thinking and behaving less like beings of instinct and action more and more human has been a huge appeal. Granted the artwork is really the clincher but once you start reading this you understand the writing is just as powerful as the artwork. The premise, the execution of the story, how it unfolds all of it is so well done that you don’t mind all the burning unanswered questions because you become so invested in these characters lives you have those you care about and root for and those you don’t trust but want to understand.
The ending of this issue is something of a cliffhanger and you have to wonder is it real, is what we see true or a ruse meant to distract? Are there people still left alive in small pockets still actively hunting the animals again for food and clothing or is this a result of some remnant of times past?
Ashley’s gone and made this so interesting that you think, ponder and wonder and then just smile at the awe of what you are experiencing. These two make a perfect team and this really is something incredibly special.