Reading the first arc of a new series is a little bit like falling in love. You're not sure where you're going, you're pretty sure that you're not calling the shots, and little surprises mean more to you than you'd ever realize. Even when you find out that they only pick their nose with their pinky...man that's adorable, eh? Well, gelatinous body fluids aside, this book is packed full of something for just about anyone's tastes, as long as they're above the age of 18 and aren't nervous about sexy jokes. This world has only gotten off the ground, and already I've found that every page has some new, little discovery, some tidbit that I'd never noticed I'd liked in a book before, but now it's simply the way I think it ought to be done.
Isaac Fox has built some strong characters in a very simple kind of world: It's free. The only thing that we've seen anyone beholden to is themselves and their own moral compass. This allows the characters to drive the plot, their needs and conscious being the only guiding force. That gives this space western the authenticity of its genre, where an open landscape shines the light on the souls who inhabit it. That's always what's so endearing about the style; it's like putting a bowl of fruit on a white background. There's nothing to distract, nothing to get in the way, so you'd better have something solid there. Since the characters can't hide from themselves, the writer is left totally exposed, and that makes for some fantastic discoveries. We also get well-developed exposition laid finely throughout the issue, so that it never feels like an info dump. Fox is organically opening his world to us, and so far it's quite the prize.
I still love the choice to keep the black-and-white appearance of the book, with certain flashes of red being the only exception. It reinforces that open plain sort of feel, making the art stand out as much as the characters and plot. Everyone's beautiful, which makes everyone very easy to look at (which you will as there's plenty of fan service), and the lines are clean. The manga style fits the various aspects of the story very well and provides a sense of weight to everything on the page. The typical manga overreactions are toned down somewhat, which lends a more Western sensibility to comic relief, where it's not quite as over the top and you're able to dive back in fairly easily.
I'm digging this series, and the promises of mysteries and action are certain to pull you in, as well. Throw caution to the wind and ask this issue home...love always finds a way.
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Creative Team: Isaac Fox (Writer/Creator), Sayako Rush (Artist & Colorist), Sara Deek (Color and Shading), J. Quick (letterer)
Publisher: Astral Ticket
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