Blue Juice Comics 2021
Written by J.V. Gray
Illustrated by Barry McClain Jr.
Digital FX & Colours by Slamet Mujiono
Lettered & Designed by Benny Lava
Tragedy strikes as Billy and Luther face a coven of newly resurrected witches with seemingly limitless power. If he is going to survive, Billy must tap into an ancient power he never knew he possessed and become one of the last Sunslingers, mystical warriors capable of wielding the fire of Prometheus.
The more we get into this story the more interesting, intriguing and enticing it becomes. The opening here hits hard straight away and it does what it is supposed to do and that's to continue to draw us into the story. Billy being so green and not yet ready to face off against witches of this calibre watches as Luther fights alone. There is this whole exciting aspect to this that defies logic and it really helps to define how Billy is going to be moving forward from here on out. Justin does a magnificent job in bringing us the emotional depth that is needed to not only change Billy’s life but to engage the reader so fully in how we see the story. Plus Barry manages to make these witches truly horrific agents of darkness and it certainly gives us a look at the beginning of the kind of evil that’s trying to infect the world.
I am very much enjoying 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 are presented exceptionally well. 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 does a magnificent job in continuing to flesh out the personalities we see. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more and more of the story the more impressed we become.
I am extremely impressed with the way that we see this being structured as well as how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also liking the way that we see these layers opening up new avenues to be explored. This adds so much great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.
I also very much like how we see the interiors here as well. The linework is stellar and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create the detail within the work we see within the work is extraordinary. That we see backgrounds so proficient throughout the book is great to see and how they enhance and expand the moments as well as how they 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 is marvellous. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a sensational eye for how colour works.
I love the way we see Billy continuing to grow, mature and evolve as the events around continue to shape who he is and who he is becoming. It really is a great coming of age story that’s filled with a very unique path to discover oneself. Amidst the drama there is some nice darker humour in the story as well which is a welcome addition and balance to the more serious moments. With some exceptional writing and sharp, dynamic characterisation alongside these bloody gorgeous interiors this is the kind of storytelling we love to see.