Half Evil Comics/Rising Spirit Entertainment/Source Point Press 2021
Written by Rylend Grant
Illustrated by Davi Leon Dias
Coloured by Iwan Joko Triyono
Lettered by HdE
After learning that his lost love might still be alive, adrift somewhere in the vast ocean of space and time, Denver Wallace must convince his estranged team to set aside years of bad blood, saddle up, and bring her back home. Also, there's a pretty funny reality show subplot, a panel where a dog takes a massive dump, and you know... plenty of cool monster-fighting stuff.
The opening here is utterly fantastic and it really has a nice impact on the reader as it recaps a reality that may or may not have been for the Jockeys. This does a nice segway into the story itself where we continue to meet the various Jockeys in the lives they currently live and we start with Rory. Now why is it that the most difficult one starts things off and takes the longest to resolve? It really is like this in real life, it’s the one you dread the most but try to contact first because you just know a headache is involved. Also these television folks yeah they are as superficial as they come and I feel like they are as fake as canned laughter.
I’m completely into the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is impeccably rendered. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter. This brings their personalities to the forefront and a hell of a lot of hostility to boot. The pacing is excellent and as it5 takes us through the pages revealing more of the story we’re drawn deeper into this.
I am very much enjoying the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. What I love seeing is the layers opening up new avenues that may or may not be explored to go with those that have been already opened and being explored, it’s like a tree branching off and these all add such depth, dimension and complexity to the story. The way we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is immaculately achieved.
The interiors here are really rather very solid. The linework that we see is clean, crisp and strong and with the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create the detail work that we see is amazingly well rendered. I like it more when we see backgrounds being utilised than not, though the crosshatching and other techniques being utilised do make it look better than pure blank space. The way they enhance and expand the moments is beautifully done. How we see them work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably strong eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a great understanding of how colour works.
The group dynamics here are absolutely fascinating and if I were a psychology student I could graduate writing a thesis paper on them. They are that complex, angry, driven and trusting and there is this hatred and I’m pretty sure it’s pure hatred running through some of them and love, deep rooted love among them no matter how much they think otherwise. This is a bloody brilliant book with so much depth and complexity in the characterisation alone which showcases how well this is actually being written. Then with these stellar interiors bringing it to life there’s no excuse for you to be missing out on this series.