Aspen Comics 2018
Created & Story by J.T. Krul, Dinna Wu & Yuyan Song
Written by J.T. Krul
Pencilled by Alex Konat
Inked by Mark Roslan
Coloured by John Starr
Lettered by Sal Cipriano
“On the run, Zihao and Harper try to hide in the shadows as they plot their next move forward. Zihao thinks the hard part is over and that he can chart a new path, but his past life isn’t done with him yet. Not by a long shot. Jasper dedicated a lot of resources to Zihao’s development, and he aims to see a return on his investment, one way or another!
I am in love with this book mainly because it has all the feel of some Japanese Manga film and partly because it just has this amazing action/adventure feel. Throw in a mystery and there is one here I can sense bubbling just below the surface behind the actions taken here and suddenly it takes on a whole new shape. The opening is sensational with the robotic bunny and the narration which I kind of feel is a commentary on life today as well just set the tone for what’s to come.
The way that this is structured is very well done. There really is a nice flow to what we see here as the Zihao and Harper try to find a safe haven away from the prying eyes of Jaspar. Speaking of which this Central District Monitoring Authority talk about the ultimate big brother moment I have seen to date. It boggles the mind that Alex can bring that to life the way he does and then Mark and John finish it off like they do because that moment is among the many Wow in the book. Everything we see and learn has a purpose and yes there is some nice action and kicking butt in here as well.
The characterisation is pretty damn good as well. We are really getting a chance to know these characters, finding moments to bond with them. J.T. has that ability when he writes to really get the reader inside the people he writes about. It is rare that he can do this as well as he does and it’s a part of what makes reading the books he works on something we want to read. I like the idea of Zihao getting out and moving up and realising that what he wanted isn’t what thought he wanted and then needed to get out.
Alright so I have stated that I am a huge fan of the interiors here already and I really mean that I love the way that you can almost see the pencils through the inks. The linework here is gorgeous and to see how it’s been manipulated so we see the how the varying weights are utilised is amazing. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off such a great eye for storytelling. Plus seeing how the panels are utilised with backgrounds is rather impressive and really gives a great scope and feel that is needed. The imagination and creativity here is beyond expectation and just puts Alex more and more into the realm of the elite.
I don’t know where in the Aspen Universe this fits, if it does at all, but I seriously want to see more of this moving forward. There is a very interesting world here to explore and it has so much untapped potential available to it. This is the power of storytelling being able to create a version of the world that is believable, interesting and within lies the kind of danger and excitement you need in your life.