Creator – Patrick Trahey
Pencils/Ink- Luis Suarez
Lettering – MaGnUs (Martín A. Pérez)
My first sit down with a refreshing title from an innovative publisher leaves me sitting pretty well with the whole project so far.
Alterna Comics has chosen the road to the future by going back to the roots of the comic industry by making a genuine attempt at bringing comics to the largest possible readership. They are doing this by going back to newsprint. In earlier times this may have meant inks that fade or bleed quickly after a few years or simply can’t stand up to repeated use and the general wear and tear that comics undergo by passing through the hands of their readers.
Comics by design are delicate books which is why we spend so much time and money to make sure that titles we admire and collect are placed in protective sleeves in the first place.
But times and technology have progressed greatly since the old days. The newsprint of today is of a very high standard when compared to that of yesterday. It holds the ink very well, it does not feel so rough in the hand and of course the print machines used today are also so much more refined and capable of representing subtlety and detail as never before.
Alterna Comics has also chosen this style of old newsstand production I would imagine, because of what appears to be a very purposeful approach to encouraging and promoting readership in general by making them accessible economically and this deliberate choice of paper stock makes it so. If you can reduce printing and publishing costs, the sticker price of your book can be reduced and therefore it is more likely to be picked up off the shelf for purely monetary reasons.
The choices Alterna Comics has made here and the fact that it promotes it as a mainstay and tool of it’s very brand recognition are genius in my opinion. It is very encouraging and I am happy to see this returnedto comics. The progressive and continuous evolution into much higher quality cover paper stock as well as interior paper stock. This has inevitably lead to higher cover prices and a limited accessibility whether intentional or not. This is especially true for folks who may be of reduced means or most certainly as a way to get more young folks who are economically limited to be able to purchase many more great titles on a very limited budget. For example I was able to buy all the issues available for this particular title for less than ten dollars Canadian and the only regret that I have is that my LCS didn’t stock more titles from Alterna Comics. I would have bought them all and probably for less than forty or fifty dollars. Show me another publisher that can deliver such a thing in 2018. Brilliant.
And so as to the content of the title itself, I won’t spoil too much for any of you out there that may be reading here, but this limited series The XII deals with a families circumstance following what is assumed to be a cataclysmic event of some kind. They are attempting to make the best of their situation, survive and to hold on to the important elements of the past that could and should be saved for the future. If there is to be a future there needs to be hope and this family is clinging to that hope.
As we move through the pages, the family allows us into their lives with the struggle and the hard decisions that need to be made. Personal differences as always play their part to complicate the situation, but regardless; they possess a devotion and understanding to each other that makes life in such dire circumstances possible. The rest I leave to the readers to discover for themselves.
Patrick Trahey’s dialog and pacing have just the right tempo and flow to allow us to sink right into the story without feeling rushed. The story in this regard is very smooth.
The lines and color that Luis Suarez brings to the page with its dystopian setting and the dreary state of affairs for our characters match perfectly with the tone that Patrick is attempting to convey. The predominance of the rusts and browns is a perfect compliment to his line work. I feel and they allow the dirty, gritty reality of our story to reach out make this world meaningful and real for us.
Of course MaGnUs’ lettering work is what we’ve come to expect from him and is placed very nicely and thoughtfully in every panel.
Overall, I think that this is a very interesting story and very artfully expressed.
If I had to complain about anything at all, it would only be that on page 19 in panel #1, there is a typo that should read “house in” instead of “house is”. Other than this one completely insignificant oversight, I am very much looking forward to the next issue in the series, which I will cover for all of you tomorrow.
I rate it a solid 5/5. Check out my review of issue #2 here.
You can still grab the first four issues for only $1.50 a copy here. Issue #5 is at all the best LCS’s this month! And there is a Kickstarter going on now for the collected trade! Check that out here!