Aftershock Comics 2019
Created & Written by Matthew Klickstein
Illustrated by Evgeniy Bornyakov
Coloured by Lauren Affe
Lettered by Simon Bowland
Death seems to be everywhere when, after arriving on a quaint but eerie Eastern European island, a disgraced journalist following up on a peculiar story meets the leader of a group of odd, tech-obsessed children who evidently have a strange power over the frightened adults of the village.
This is truly outrageous. This to me feels like Matthew went and took The Village of the Damned and made a modern version of it utilising current technology. While the kids don't really have power that we know of and Martina is so damn creepy that they don't powers when they have the technology. I am so damn impressed with what Matthew has come up with here, a base idea that's familiar and already inherently creepy and then updated it so it is even scarier in it's depth and scope of what these kids have access to.
The story & plot development that we see here is extraordinarily good. There is this way about how the reader is given information so that we learn what we are given alongside Lyla. I love this technique because the surprises hit us harder and the way that encounter situations causes an authentic reaction from the reader. The character development that we are seeing is stupendous and how we manage to see the characters and some temporary baseline personalities that are set to grow, change and evolve is mesmerising. When we factor the pacing into the equation it takes on a journey through the twists, turns and revelations that are far worse than a haunted house on Halloween but one take willingly because it cannot be avoided, our curiosity that is.
I am thoroughly enjoying the way that this story is being told and how it comes to life before our eyes. There is this incredulous way that we see the children behaving and on the opposite side Lyla is no innocent and there's a reason she's a disgraced journalist. From what we see within these pages however all I see is a woman who understands how to party. Both sides are kind of messed up but it is fun to see be that thing which reignites a passion and a fire in Lyla so she come out of her funk and get back into the game.
I am kind of in love with Evgeniy and that's because of the work the man is doing. His linework is exquisite and the way he's able to manipulate the varying weights to create this strong and wonderful attention to detail finds a way to resonate within the reader. The composition we see inside the panels and how he shows us depth perception is superb work. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a stupendous eye for storytelling. The way he utilises his creativity and imagination is stellar and the way we see the Polaroids, the monitors, facial expressions and body language just give this story that extra punch. The colour work is astounding to see. I adore the way that we see a base colour and then how the hues and tones within that are utilised to create the shading and shadows. Whether is full colour dark and creepy, black & white flashbacks or the difference we see when she's with Kad everything works on every level.
This is nothing like you think it's going to be and it is everything you expect all in the same breath. The manner in which this is being told transcends genre specifics, it is capable of thrilling the reader, freaking them out and see a soft and tender moment in any and all combinations. Then of course there are the little things that we see as well and the history of this Island as seen through fresh and jaded eyes that we need to remember for you never know what or where inspiration will strike. Though I think it's already struck with Matthew, Evgeniy, Lauren and Simon as this is the kind of bold and daring storytelling that I expect from Aftershock.