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‘Step by Bloody Step #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Coda was one of better comic book experiences I’d run across in some time. It was the first collaboration that I knew of from Si Spurrier and Matías Bergara. They gave me a unique vision. They used the scope of what fantasy could entail to tell a challenging story; it was something like no one else was doing. It was unhinged and yet focused, it was melancholic and yet hopeful, it was thrilling and yet meant something important. When it was done, I wanted more. Since the announcement of Step by Bloody Step, this was the “more,” and – boy howdy – is it even more than I expected.

Story-wise, all you need to know is that a mech-sized robot is protecting a human girl in a land of high fantasy; however, it’s not common fantasy. There are no elves or goblins, no dragons or necromancers (not yet, anyway). The most important thing is: How this story is told puts Bergara and Matheus Lopes (the colorist) at the forefront.

I have often called Spurrier the writer’s writer. His words are deft, both cutting and character building, but the only script we’re given here is one beyond our understanding and only briefly, and there are no sound effects on the page. Everything we feel and everything we experience is because of Bergara’s astonishing artwork and the insanely beautiful colors. Our characters feel so small in this world of wonder and danger that has flown from Bergara’s mind. That visual conflict – the frailty, innocence, and curiosity of youth – versus this overwhelmingly larger-than-life landscape of constant threat . . . every page is a visceral force. Plus, Bargara’s artwork gives these conflicts an emotional heft. The picking of a flower or attempted snowball fight become moments of profound humanity. If I had any of these pages, wouldn’t matter which one, I’d frame them and put them on my wall.

Every decision, from the lack of lettering, to the insane visuals, is meant to take us to a place we’ve never been, through an experience just on the other side of familiar. It works, and I’m here for it.

Creative Team: Si Spurrier (story), Matías Bergara (art), Matheus Lopes (colors), Emma Price (graphic designer)
Publisher: Image Comics
Click here to purchase.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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