Kali Yuga #1
Story: Benton Rooks
Art: Juan Chavarigga
Let’s face it, the internet has made it much easier for aspiring comic book creators to stop aspiring and start creating. And because of this the comic landscape has become inundated with a lot of bad comics. A lot of bad comics. Every once in a while though, one of the indie produced contributions peeks my interest, and Kali Yuga may just be one of those aberrant rarities.
Kali Yuga focuses on Abaraiis, a reality-bending wizard charged with defeating the seven lizard Kings, themselves masters of sorcery. The name of the book is loosely translated as “ The eon or age of Kali”, the Hindu goddess most closely associated with death and destruction; the caveat here is that in Hindu mythology, neither are inherently “evil” and both are necessary aspects of the creative process.
Like Abaraiis, you the reader mustn’t get distracted while reading this book and absorbing it’s admittedly psychedelic imagery. The underlying message here is a subtle one, more metaphor than anything else. Reality is more plastic than we routinely believe, but often you must be slowly and carefully shown that truth for various reasons.
Fair warning if you haven’t had a chance to get a look at this Kickstarter-funded project from writer Benton Rooks and artist Juan Chavarigga, it’s very, very unorthodox. The usual conventions of 5-7 panels per page, thought bubbles, dialogue boxes, et cetera are all pretty much totally eschewed. The effect is unsettling, but given the esoteric theme of the book, that’s probably intentional.
Despite my overall approval of the book, it is a little hard to follow. Some of this comes from the style the creators used in designing and implementing it, and some of it just comes from the material itself. Not to sound too cliché, but this is all pretty heavy stuff and takes a long while to digest, even if you’re familiar with most of the concepts being explored.
If you are bold enough and brave enough to make it through the 1st issue of this three-part miniseries, take heart. The rabbit hole gets much deeper from here.
By Adam Cadmon