Saturday, April 7, 2018

Isola #1 Review

I-sola, s-o-l-a, so-la

Written by: Brenden Fletcher / Karl Kerschl  
Art by: Karl Kerschl 
Colors by: Msassyk
Letters by: Aditya Bidikar 
Published by: Image
Reviewed by: Andrew McAvoy 

Isola is the much anticipated new Image title written by Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl, and rendered beautifully on the page by Kerschl’s art brought to life through delicate and intricate colors by Msassyk. With art to die for whetting people's appetite long in advance, did the book live up to expectations? Let's see

Well firstly this isn't a book that holds your hand. You are thrown in with hardly any dialogue for the first few pages. Instead Msassyk's colors get to work enticing the reader (or should that be viewer?) in, the art weaving a spell that gradually acclimatizes one to the world of the book. Although it is the Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki angle that has been highlighted in the advance previews of the title, I actually found this to evoke the imagery of The Jungle Book as well, the influences of this book seemed to me to draw on Indian imagery as much as Japanese.

With the art having cast its spell, the story begins to be developed through sparse limited dialogue. Again, the reader is left to form impressions and concepts sparked from the images and the fact that we are dropped into events without preamble or explanation. I'm in favor of this because the dialogue that is used is so perfectly measured before it is deployed.

By the end of the book, the reader is left with an overall impression of intrigue, mystery and above all else a pervading sense of peril. By the end of the book, we are aware that the Queen of Maar, suffering under the effects of an evil spell and assuming the shape of a Tiger is being stewarded by Captain Rook. The Queen has been protected thus far, but the odds are against them if the events of this opening installment are anything to go by.

Bits and Pieces:
Not only was this a magnificent book, but it was a work of art. A great start to a series which, if the standard of this opening issue is anything to go by, will be one that collectors will seek out in a future high-quality trade publication to grace their bookshelves and share with their children. It is something special, not often seen.

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