Monday, May 25, 2009

Zuda Review Clandestino/ Is Grindhouse a genre for comic books, if not it should be

No one does car chases as cool as Annb, Frank Miller would be proud

Clandestino is another May Zuda comic done by Zuda vet Annb. It got 4/5 stars and a fav from me for great screen composition and a action filled story. Here is the Synopsis: For years he has been haunted due to a mysterious Gypsy legend. For years he has been seeking the origins of this legend. Clandestino’s fate is about to change, now that he is getting closer to solving all the mysteries of his past. An old Gypsy legend said that the Gypsy Queen, who gave birth to a boy the first night of full moon, would bring to earth the future Gypsy King. With the powers of the moon, he would guide his people for the rest of eternity. It never happened. She gave birth, but soon after was killed leaving the little boy an orphan, with no mother to raise him to maturity. As he grew up, many questions started to appear. Dangerous people started to chase him, blaming him for the death of the Gypsy Queen. All that he knows is the clandestine lifestyle. He trained himself and become the best shooter in the underworld. That’s where he met Leena, a Gypsy that knows even more of his past than he does. With her help, will be become the King he was meant to be? A Gypsy, a girl, and a gun, will guide you to the journey of Clandestino to discover his unknown destiny.

Revenge is a story best told with fantastic art

The opening two screens show a well drafted car chase that immediately grabs readers who are looking for 'something' to happen in their comics. A safe bet for Zuda is 50/50 action/talking heads we get a little more action here but, Clandestino is a submission that perfectly fits Zuda. The most impressive screen was screen 3, for the most part the creator here didn't overuse the text boxes, and they were needed for the way he set up the story. Screen 3 is excellent design, especially panels 2 and 3. Really grabbing and disturbing artwork and text. Besides the go-to genre for me grindhouse elements, you also have a supernatural aspect/mythology in the story which I always enjoy. One of the most impressive things about this comic is how well the art goes along with the dialogue/text. A perfect example of this is screen 4. Seeing the scary guy in the hat's reflection in the baby's eyes, then the transition to Clandestino being upside down was very impressive. I also enjoyed the character's right side up banter with Leena. The non-traditional panel layout really helps make the action scenes flow smooth -damn smooth. This comic starts off with a car chase so you expect it to be chaotic which is only helped along by the vertigo inducing art. It was a nice touch to end the 8 page submission with a title card screen, the only drawback to this was the need for a lot of text box thought balloons.

How do you say gun shooter in Spanish?

Native speakers of any language can always tell when something doesn't sound quite right. This slight problem has came up more than once in previous Zuda comics, and was noticeable a few times in Annb's last Zuda venture. In a comic script I did and am currently back to re-drafting I had a sequence in Spanish. I knew looking it up in a book, or using the computer would not cut it so I sent up a thread on the Zuda message board for help. Juan and Andres were kind enough to help me out, and I'm sure myself, Nate, and others would be glad to help a creator get the English to sound 'right'. A tribute to Annb this mild disconnect only came up once in Clandestino. "I became the best gun shooter in the world" it's grammatically correct I guess, but it doesn't have that 'heavy' tone the rest of the script does. It just reads off, a better turn of phrase might have been: gunfighter, gunslinger, assassin, marksmen, depending on just what kind of mood/ character's past Annb was trying to convey. if it's a almost/actual supernatural skill with a gun I'd go with gunslinger for that subtle Stephen King reference. If he is just a stone cold bad ass gunfighter or assassin get the job done well. Beyond all that (I along with others) would welcome a Spanish only Zuda comic in a contest. 'Gun shooter' is just a minor point, and the text did go a little long on screen 8, but still an awesome read.

It's always nice when Zuda creators improve from one comic to the next

I thought Annb's last entry was impressive (and it was), but this comic blows that one away. People who prefer a quiet start might not rally to Annb's banner, but if you got the skills to get people setting on the edge of their seats -use them. Which is just what is done here with Clandestino. I also appreciate Annb has a mastery of his own style which comes through both in terms of the art, and the writing. I don't know how much of a 'get out the vote' effort Annb has made but if he continues to build on his talent a instant win or a Image title is the minimum least his future holds.


  1. Hey man, once again, thanks for the detailed review!
    And as you said, translating from one language to other usually looses the idea you had at the beginning, and it turns into something awkward in the translated text, but it's something I'm working on with every script i write and translate, there are a lot of grammar things that i gotta keep up fixing in the future.
    And related to the 'vote campaign', well, I've done whatever is possible here in my city, and of course all the facebook, mysapce and forums stuff, butt it's really difficult to catch votes here, where people actually don't read comics, and if it's in English it's even worse hhaha, as i said to MPD, looks like next time i'm gonna have to move to north America to win hahaha.

  2. Good review and good things to come from annb hopefully!