Skybound/Image Comics 2017
Created & Written by Sean Mackiewicz
Created & Illustrated by Niko Walter
Coloured by Mat Lopes
Lettered by Russ Wooton
Once upon a time in Veracruz, two newly-weds tried to put their pasts behind them, to build a happy life together. But the world is full of monsters who seek to bring out the worst in them.
The first issue really does this great job of grabbing your attention and pulling you into this world. So much so that the second issue with it’s aftermath and it’s characterisation is almost a let-down of sorts. Notice I did say almost because I really am rather impressed with what Sean is doing here. I love the way the book is structured how it flows and the distribution of information is presented to us. From the moment our intrepid lovers appear to how we see them running away, to fight another day is the idea, everything is done with a purpose. I like it because it was able to make me absorbed into the story and that I was on such an intellectual level was just an added bonus for me.
When they entered the house to check things out there’s this great tension going on. That’s a combination of the story and how that’s interpreted by Niko and Mat. I like the room by room sweep that they do and how it’s dark and you don’t know what’s going on or if anyone is there and it’s a great thing to see play out. It’s a great example of how to create drama without background noise ruining the moment, if this were a motion picture than so idiot would insist on putting “a dramatic backdrop score” which of course ruins any kind of horror or surprise element that is there.
As they search the house and don’t find any sign of Quique and there’s one female corpse and I tell ya what people you NEED to pay attention to what’s going on there. Now I’m not one hundred percent sure what happened to Martin as he’s really making no sense at all. Still it’s no coincidence that someone shows up and while again I’m not sure how or why they were there at that time. There are a couple of things it could be but the mystery surrounding it continues to grow and deepen the story in some great ways.
The interiors here really sell the story as the saying goes. The mood, tone and feel for what’s happening at any given moment almost rests on the boys shoulders. It should come as no surprise then that they do this was extraordinary skill. The attention to detail is there when it’s needed as are the darker more shaded in areas that are meant to heighten the feelings and then finally there’s the last two pages with a completely unique look of their own. From page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective to the utilisation of backgrounds or the lack thereof it’s all exceedingly well done. The eye for storytelling from Niko shouldn’t be missed.
I love that we are in an era where comics have gone beyond simply super-heroes, romance, horror, science-fiction and westerns into any amalgamation of those or simply the kind of stories about the world we see and perceive. Storytellers are able to write what they want, what they know and what they hope to show as something new, exciting and original and they want it to have an impact on the reader. I’m thrilled that there are places for such intellectual properties to alongside the mindless silly ones as well as the standard fare we’ve come to know and love.
This is not going to end the way you think it will or expect it to but it will broaden your horizon and make you think.