WHAT'S TO LIKE:
Okay, I'm a sucker for hard sci-fi, so I admit my bias here. Let me start with the art - terrific comic lines and colors. The character work is impressive, and the sequentials work beautifully. THIS is comic art at work, and I love it. Screen 2 completely pulled me into this story and is the single most impressive screen of any Zuda entry I've seen so far for August (reminiscent of Moebius or Dave Gibbons, anyone?). I really enjoyed the shifting pallettes between the planet-side scene and the events aboard the ships in space.
As for the story, it's good, too, although it suffers from the 8-page dilemma - exposition versus immersion. These guys go for immersion, dropping the reader right into the action without a lot of heavy-handed explanation. The characters' relationships and motivations emerge in their actions and interactions, and the reader gets a brief chance to connect to a few of them via their individual voices as the story plays out. There's emotion and drama in these 8 pages, and I was left with anticipation of discovering where the events will lead and what the larger story entails.WHAT IT LACKS:
The flip side of the 8-page dilemma is that, with immediate immersion in a Zuda competition entry, exposition is difficult to accomplish and often sacrificed. While I definitely got a feel for the characters and micro-situations explored in the 8-page submission for Absolute Magnitude, the story does suffer from a missing, larger understanding of the universe and events occurring within. To me, this is not much of a flaw. Given a choice, I'll take captivating immersion over droning exposition any day, but I would be remiss if I didn't point out the issue here.
MY ZUDA RATING:
4 Stars. Great comic art with shifting perspectives and fluid sequential progressions. Beautiful. Individualized characters with some relationships established in 8 pages of action.
More than likely. I still have a few entries to read or re-read, but Absolute Magnitude is gonna be tough to beat for me.