REVIEW: Rose #2

Straight from Australia, Cameron Davis digs into the life of Rose. Like most of Cameron’s work, Rose is a series of comic strips that is centered around a hungry redhead. Each story is light-hearted and simple, which is great for the genre he is going for. However, unlike similar styles, like an Archie Digest, Cameron’s stories are much too repetitive. And in addition to the bland anecdotes, Cameron’s art could also use some work. Now, even though there are some negative aspects to the book, there are also some positive ones. The dialogue was very well done, which rounded out the main character nicely.

Rose’s adventures in this issue had a great variety about them: sharing memories, sibling squabbles, time travel, mother/daughter relationships, etc… There was a lot of promise to be had here, but unfortunately each punchline became too redundant. At the heart of every joke was Rose’s obsession with food. Now, this is fine for one or two narratives, but not for every single one. The art in comedy, arguably one of the hardest styles of fiction, is in surprise. Every joke has to end unsuspectingly, and that can’t happen when every joke is the same as before. If it is necessary to the story to show how much Rose loves food, then add it in. But there are more creative ways to do so without wearing out your audience, or your story. My suggestion, try to do a few strips that revolve around food, but diverge towards the end.

While we are on the bad news first track, let’s go over some aspects of the art. The genre that Cameron is trying to achieve with Rose does not exactly set a high bar for complicated art. But at the same time, stuff like Sonic the Hedgehog, or Betty and Veronica, does have a certain style that makes the art flow. The main issue with Cameron’s work is in perspective. It is not a persistent issue, but there are a few occasions where his perspective is skewed, which really takes the reader out of the book. A notable scene for this is when Rose is looking for the pacifier. Everything looks great, until you see how off the kitchen table looks compared to the rest of the page. Another problem, that I saw, was with the inconsistency of the faces. For some reason Rose’s roommate changes with every apartment scene, maybe this is intentional, but the bottom line is that it is unnecessary. If all of the roommate characters are just fillers, then merge them into a single person. It pulls everything together, and you might get another co-star out of it, like Jughead.

Moving on to the positive aspects of the book. Like I said earlier, I really did enjoy the initial variety of this book. Cameron has a lot of creativity here, and I think he can really build Rose’s world with some unique qualities. Another great part was this obsession with everyone and their cell phones. This is a really smart overarching theme to add to any story these days. It is something that is not only relatable, but it is also very funny to watch. The best part of this book, though, was the dialogue. It was not so much what the characters said, but when they said it. Cameron had great tempo with the dialogue, and coupled with keywords, this gave Rose a unique voice apart from the rest of the cast. Clearly the script is Cameron’s strong suit. My favorite strip was Rose’s mother comforting her; it was funny, fresh, and heartfelt. And to honor the art, the best page was mentioned earlier. The way Cameron showed Rose searching for the pacifier was very creative. I am a big fan of dynamically moving pages, rather than panels.

Appreciating the fun and hard work that went into this issue, I have to say that Rose does need some work. But that is a good thing, since improving your craft can only help. None of the problems here are detrimental, which means that they are easily fixable for future issues. Cameron just needs to be weary of repetition and poor perspective. All in all, I would not suggest buying this issue. But if you are into his genre, I would definitely keep my eye on it. I give Rose #2, 2 out of 5 stars.

Written by Cameron Davis
Art by Cameron Davis
You can find this title on comiXology 

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