Writer Christopher Sebela generates funny dialogue in deadly scenarios, where bodyguard Vita must defend those trying to kill Charlie, someone who seems almost dismissive of this whole month-long death contract. Along with sarcastic or combative conversations, Sebela creates two characters who are slowly fleshing out their differences, while also growing far more intimate in the process of not dying. If Crowded: Volume 1 is a masterpiece, then Volume 2 is its superb equal in a way that has you wanting more story, while also loving every single panel of artwork.
Penciller Ro Stein, inker Ted Brandt, and colorist Triona Farrell highlight why comic books are great. The characters exude their personalities with fantastic facial expressions, fun and colorful costumes, and vibrant backgrounds to highlight chase sequences that are brilliant to see play out. Stein, Brandt, and Farrell make these characters come to life, and it matches the tone of the story perfectly.
Not only does Crowded: Volume 2 have a fantastic story and wonderful imagery, the layout and lettering also play a significant role in this story. If “chaotic-good” had another name, Crowded might be the best and most fun example of such a word. Not only is this story a wild ride, the panel layout matches its tone. There are uneven panels looking similar to a broken glass put back together, while other pages have panels stacked onto one another. The shifting style helps to maintain the fast pace of the story, while letterer Cardinal Rae puts in various styles based on the character and emphasizes big moments with fun, bold letters that seem to effortlessly match every moment.
Additionally, this comic book is a perfect reason to highlight why #StoriesMatter. The creators behind Crowded create a world where legal assassination is a thing, and all while there are people left and right trying to kill Charlie, readers are given an experience. You get an intimate look at two characters who are not only trying to stay alive, they’re building bonds in a way that’s uniquely present in the comic book medium.
You get a sense of the action sequences and these snapshots within each panel are worth their weight in gold. Beautiful illustrations, fun and quirky characters, matched with intense action and love scenes, and you’re left with wonderful pieces of art where sometimes your imagination takes over, and other times it doesn’t have to. Comic books might be the best storytelling medium – and Crowded: Volume 2 is a front row example of why they’re worth flipping through every single page.
Crowded: Volume 2 - Glitter Dystopia is available on Wednesday, June 24, for print and digital release.
Creative Team: Christopher Sebela (writer), Ro Stein (penciller), Ted Brandt (inker), Triona Farrell (colorist), Cardinal Rae (letterer), Juliette Capra (edits), Dylan Todd (logo), and Yesflats, Holley McKend, and Richel Tagyamon (color flatting)
Publisher: Image Comics
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