Arctic by Ghost
What's to Like:
Wow. Gorgeous comic art in this one, and utilized in skillful sequential fashion, with shifting perspective and scale. Terrific use of colors is ever-present, especially the contrast of the white setting with the other, physically smaller story visuals. I was really impressed with how the snow effects were used throughout. The panel layouts are nice and easy to follow, and there were plenty of well-timed, large panels to showcase the artist's talent and bring emphasis to critical story points. Well done! I found myself digi-thumbing through Arctic several times just appreciating the visuals.
What it Lacks:
It's pretty, but the story itself just didn't engage me. The amnesiac crash survivor who remembers THIS but doesn't remember THAT, all at the convenience of the author, is a tired theme for me. And the way the amnesia is represented in story terms was really over-done with regard to the sheer number of questions asked of the protagonist by himself. Seriously, it lasts for three full screens. One final gripe on this note - the reader is supposed to believe that the memory-impaired crash survivor doesn't remember what snow is, but he remembers the name of an alien species and the use of the term wreckage. Doesn't wash.
Also, the text was heavy-handed in terms of exposition, when the art was so well executed that some of the verbage could have been completely eliminated. For example, on screen 5, as our amnesiac protagonist cautiously approaches the starship wreckage, he thinks, "Maybe the wreckage will give me more clues." It's obvious from the beautifully crafted image in this panel that he is approaching the wreckage to find out what happened to him. It's a case of letting the art speak for itself, and the creator would do well here, and throughout this story, to recognize that he already places such thoughts in the readers' brains with his thoughtful, moody visuals without beating us over the head with words.
My Zuda Rating:
3 Stars. This creator knows how to draw comics and can probably craft a thought-provoking and fascinating story. The words and pictures just need to come into proper balance to tell the story with the intended mood. VERY close to being excellent. Keep at it.
No. I enjoy sci-fi on Zuda, in particular, but Absolute Magnitude is hands-down better this month.