‘Snow Blind #1:’ Comic Book Review

Snow Blind has all it needs to be a compelling and thrilling comic, but it just falls a little short. Set in the isolated landscape of Alaska, the creative team has set themselves up with a caveat of possibilities for their crime thriller series; the haunting watercolor image of a young boy and his dog wandering the snowy landscape with questions of his father’s past was enough to draw me in. But, will this be enough to keep the reader’s interest, not for just this first issue, but the entire series of four?

With such a strong premise and image, I was looking forward to the noirish style and crime grit. Ultimately, Snow Blind just doesn't have that impact. The flow and design of the comic is beautiful and effortless. I love how the artist disregards the boundaries of the panels and allows for chaos as it emerges in the story and, in particular, the world of the main character, Teddy. As Teddy’s world crumbles, so does the precision and order of the comic panels. Here, I saw the noir and grit, a little Vertigo and The Third Man. At this moment, I got lost in Teddy’s world, but, by then, the comic was over and I had reservations as to whether I was invested enough to continue the series.

The overall tone is thickly foreboding and ominous, yet, in a way, too thick. The language lacks the subtlety that truly draws a reader in and tantalizes their senses . . . stirs the imagination and leaves them wanting more, which was disappointing because this comic has massive potential. Reading Snow Blind, you want it to succeed, you are caught up in the plot and the characters until they start to talk, and the stilted dialogue sounds nothing like what you imagined. What I saw on the cover, what starts in the opening sequences at times feels like a telenova or after-school special, with stilted dialogue just pushing the drama and suspense rather than trusting the audience will feel the mood set in the imagery and giving us just what we need to know carefully and methodically.

Despite that, Snow Blind ended on just as strong a note as it started. It may have lost some footing in the middle, but the final hypnotic images and Teddy’s internal monologue have me convinced that this team has a great adventure left in store for readers, if they keep it going in this direction. All of the pieces are in place and when they come together . . . wow, the snow is blinding!

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