Some people are dog people, some are cat people, but what would happen if it became that animals got to choose to become people fans? This question is amongst many presented in the first issue of this new series from AfterShock Comics.
The Day of the Wake is when everything changed; when those we took for granted, those who we would fear, those who we loved would awaken and take a huge step from co-habitants, wild life and companions and turn into something more and possibly something fearful. Pets, herds, gulls and even crabs become more communicative and stage a rebellion with the need of their species as their own focus. Gulls become tech addicts, crabs it turns out are just plain mean and don’t even get me started with what the dolphins want! This macabre twist on George Orwell’s Animal Farm is brought to you by the fantastic and ever diverse writings of Marguerite Bennett.
Marguerite Bennett has been quietly going around doing her business writing across the aisle and delving into a number of indie books. She has shown her skills in a number of genres from the Victorian horror of InseXts to DC whimsy with Bombshells. Along the way she has spent time with Avengers and X-Men. To say she has been busy is somewhat of an understatement. Looking over her work, I think I prefer her work away from superheroes. Here, in Indie-land, she gets to flex her impressive creative streak instead of having to worry about working in existing universes. here the script is lively with viciousness and kindness mixed in with some truly funny moments. I for one share the grabs view of gulls as does probably many people who live on or near a coastline and the comments about growing thumbs was absolute comedy genius. Story-wise, there is a darker undertone to proceedings, which despite the litany of “apocalyptic” stories out there, remains fresh.
Comic books are a collaboration, with this mind it seems that Juan Doe is the perfect fit for this title, displaying a deft touch that implies rather than fleshing out details. The frame-work of the characters is angular enough to give a level of movement through the panels with the disjointedness also giving a feeling of a world tilted of its normal axis. I should also mention that not every artist can give a range of characteristics to the animal kingdom, yet Doe not only manages this, but he succeeds as each animal looks like their commanding personality trait. Doe is responsible for the colors which again, with the use of shades of one color per environment, gives the book a not quite right feel.
After the initial wave of books that impressed, AfterShock, for me at least, fell into a kind of holding pattern. This was always going to be likely as a new publisher looks to make a splash then solidify their place in the market. Reading this book, I am glad to see that this particular publisher is once again putting out the sort of book that gained so many plaudits last year.
Writing – 4 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars
(W) Marguerite Bennett (A/CA) Juan Doe