The best stories all have one thing in common (besides Nicholas Sparks), even when they try to tell big stories: they focus on the characters. Babble clearly learned this lesson. Even when the story is approaching apocalyptic proportions, it keeps its focus on the people involved. Babble follows Carrie Hartnoll as she and her complicated relationship with a former professor investigate the power of languages. Predictably, things go bad in more ways than you expect.
Lee Robson’s writing is perfect for this story. He manages to maintain the menace and mystery, while intercutting with a fascinating character drama. This comic’s strong suit is not that it tells two stories at the same time, but that it does it flawlessly. The big dramatic action-thriller would have fallen flat if it wasn’t driven by the character stuff, and the relationship drama is given extra weight by the thriller. This is exactly how you tell a big, weighty story.
Bryan Coyle’s art does a great job of conveying the normalcy and chaos that this story needs. The styles of the two sections are similar, but it is easy to tell them apart. The past is black, white, and blue, while the present is black, white, and orange. This simple choice removes all doubt as to which part of the story is next when you turn the page. Ultimately, it is clear that the art does precisely what it is trying to do.
All in all, this is an entertaining take on the standard accidental catastrophe. The characters are compelling and drive the action, rather than simply advancing the plot. The interpersonal drama is compelling enough to work without the looming doom, but man, oh man, is that doom exciting. This is a fun comic that is worth your time.
Babble is now available for purchase at www.comxcomics.com.
Four Totally Non-Ominous and Mysterious Journals out of Five