Sunday, March 8, 2009

Deadly Zuda review/ Everybody can't be Caanan but goddamit!

Deadly by James Fosdike is another comic fighting it's way through March at Zuda, currently ranked 3rd.
Here's the synopsis: When the earth became barren and the air toxic, almost all its people abandoned Australia. Only the indigenous population remains, refusing to leave while attempting to resuscitate a dead land. It is a dangerous task. The wildlife have become twisted and mutated with a taste for flesh. Breathing the air will either kill you or turn you into a living nightmare. A lone terraformer rescues a child that can breathe air. He wants to know why, but the kid's not talking. He'll find out before the week is through, if he can stay alive.
First off James said this comic was originally done to help indigenous kids with reading difficulties which of course is a very cool objective to have. Keeping the words sparse helped make it a easier read, and also helped the suspense filled pace. I have a speech impediment/ lisp and years ago my speech teacher used comics to help me learn how to 'talk right' as we say down south. I would read the comic to her and she would help me pronounce the words. I had a cool teacher I just hope she liked The Flash as much as I did back then. So I know first hand how useful comics can be to help kids learn.
You get extra 'warm my cold black heart' points for that.

The colors are great, letters readable, I enjoyed the script and premise, art is great just not enough of it. Too lite on the panels, but I liked reading your promise of more panels to come should you win. Everyone can't be Caanan and put all those panels on a screen, not have it feel cramped, and kick arse artistically speaking. Some stories just work better with the old stand by of 5-7 panels per screen/page. What's been tried on Zuda more than once and hasn't worked yet -is the 1-2-3 panels per page thing. Why should I repeat something that has been mentioned more than twice in your comment section -simple added emphasis. It's a suspense filled read the first time through, on repeat readings you wonder where the other panels are at. That's the biggest complaint I have, but it's a serious one.

Panel count aside their are some awesome images here.

Some nifty examples from the comic to show you what I mean:

Screen 1 both panels. We get a nice establishing shot that stirs up those feelings of dread, and a boy trying to make a fair instead of playing with his wii. That's kind of a tip off what direction this story is going in right there.
Screen 2 panel 2 the way this image was done was very impressive. You just had to click to the next screen, to see if the kid was going to be okay. Unlike with Dirty Mile and the baby anarchists, I want the baby geomancher to live.
Screen 3 now that's Art, I don't care who you are. Very impressive/ striking image. How many times will I use the words 'very impressive'? As many as it takes... as many as it takes...
Screen 4 Their is not much text box narration going on, but the panels we have serve a good purpose of moving the story along. Very impressive images here, great artwork. I also want to say neat sequential sequence in the second panel with the goggles reflection. The snake is showing in the reflections moving even closer to eating the kid, I enjoy stuff like that.
Screen 6 If James wanted to get all poetic on us saying how this image (being cut out of the snakes belly) was akin to the boy coming out of the womb/ being reborn. You could just go with Kick ass art too. Only problem with this screen too much blank black space.
Screen 8 ends with a cute image of the kid looking at his reflection and a 'had to be break a rule for you' mystery introducing line. Rules what kind of rules, vote for it to find out in screen 9!!!

What the hell was up with screen 5???

Were their formatting issues for Zuda or what??? That was a lot of blank black space letterbox borders for what real reason? If it's going to be a full screen shot why not go with bigger characters and take up more space on the page.

All that aside I'm glad your ranked as high as you are James, a very well done story just needed more panels and less blank space. 4/5 and a fav for being so very impressive.

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