Sunday, June 21, 2009

Analogue by Jesse Tise Review

Analogue is a comic on the web done by Jesse Tise. It's updated every Friday, and its creator is working on a Zuda submission. Here is the intro/synopsis: 13-year old Luc Gerard's imagination gets quite out of hand when fantastical gods and monsters from alternate, overlapping dimensions invade and declare war on our plane of reality. Only 19 pages so far, but I am very impressed with it. It also has a little soundtrack of sorts you can listen to as you read. Our lead Luc has a love interest/keeper in the character of Sofia. Their is also in these early screens a fair bit of drive-by weirdness with hallucinations and seeing things that shouldn't be there. As we know from the well written intro, Luc ain't crazy all hell is just about to break lose.

Little Orphan Annie meets Jeeper's Creeper's

The thing that stood out the most to me, is how almost every character's eyes are portrayed as jet black circles, the complete alternate to Little Orphan Annie's depiction. It really reminded of that last scene from the film Jeeper's Creeper's with the blank void look to every one's face. The fantastic creatures we see in this comics opening dream imagery are cool, all the empty ovals for eyeballs staring back at you, is what brings the creepy factor. Intended, or not it's some major league weirdness that doesn't go away: seeing cute child caricatures, and wondering who cut their eyes out of the picture. The rest of the characters faces are very expressive, which helps well written dialogue add up to great characterization. The pace of the story is excellent, by screen 8 your seeing Luc and Sofia's relationship, and know how off a average day really is for Luc. Some of the strongest points of the story is the well written dialogue done for the interactions of Luc and Sofia. The layout of the pages really serves the story: no wasted space, or panels. Letters don't get in the way/ are very legible. The colors aid the art completely, along with the inking style it's all very easy to follow, and easy to appreciate the creator's command of his style. The odd reality gets driven home starting on screen 9 with a floating naked Luc look-a-like covered in those 3 dot/triangle symbols having glowing white eyes. Seeing strange sights then 'waking up' happens more than once, but by screen 12 Luc is wide awake seeing this strange character/invader. The layout on every screen shows Jesse wasn't going for a few cool panels, but kept the whole look of the screen, in mind. The suspense of wanting to know what happens will keep a reader clicking through the screens. I have no idea what the total length intended for this series is, but I did wonder if the creator tried getting any of the dead tree publishers interested. If he did, and they turned it down, could be a reason to why comic sales keep piddling down.

Nifty narrative techniques

You have to admire the sketchy clean style used throughout this comic. That style just doesn't shine through in the pencils/inks of the story though.The way a Jesse makes a teachers words flow together, and right past her students out a window, pretty much sums up my memories of boring lectures from my school days. In the window past Luc we see one of those mysterious 'others' is again stalking him around on rough tops. Using a slide projector as a light source in a darkened classroom, shows off some colorists skills, and welcomed artistic proficiency. Screen 16 was one of the best. The projector light gives it a 'shine a flashlight on your face, telling scary stories' quality that ties into yet another Luc scream. He could be camping in the woods with his friends the way he yells out. Again, the focus is brought back to that 3 circle/ triangle -smiley face with a go-tee symbol. The panel 2 switch to red, and black stood out, and made Luc's freak out more believable/effective. Again we see Sofia's concern as Luc decides to book it out of that school. Screen 19 ends with Luc yelling up at that same stalking figure to show itself, with a ominous shadow falling over him, and a reddish background to up the cliffhanger tension. Think of this comic as another reason to look forward to Friday besides your pay check. The enter page made me think the comic was going to be fairly light hearted, it turned out to have a extra layer of disturbing, and a professional quality. It's creepy cool with me rooting for the kid already, and we haven't even really got to the gods and monsters part of the program yet. Jesse did some amazing work, that according to his stat counter not near enough people are reading.

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