Breaking the Fourth Panel: Neonomicon and the Comic Book Frame (1 of 2)
An analysis of Neonomicon #1 (Moore, Burrows), developing into a broader analysis of framing in the medium as a whole.
The Sword by The Luna Brothers was easily the greatest comic I read last year by a healthy margin. Simply stunning work all round. I’d recommend it in a heartbeat without hesitation. MUST READ.
The Sword is not a gore filled comic at all. The violence is kept sharp and visceral though which makes it all the more shocking when it comes. Absolutely, hands down, without any hesitation the Sword by the Luna Brothers was the single most amazing thing I read last year by a wide margin.
Although this is a comic book, this is not a superhero story. Some characters have powers, some can fly and some can lift mountains, but this is not what this book is about. This about people, their lives, how they have chosen to live them and how there actions affect the world around them. I am intentionally keeping the details of the plot and characters to a bare minimum here as it is better discovered as told by the Luna Brothers without outside influence. My words simply won’t do it the justice it deserves, but here’s a taste anyway.
In a nut shell, a paralysed, wheel chair bound young women watches helplessly as a seemingly random group of people enter her house one night and slaughter her entire family. No real explanation given and no clues to the attacker’s identity. Left for dead in the aftermath she discovers a sword under her now ruined home. Upon touching the sword, her body is healed and so she sets out for answers and unrelenting vengeance. A journey of mammoth proportions is undertaken and a story unfolds magnificently.
It may sounds kinda basic on the face of it, however it is anything but. This a tale of immense loss, life, death, rebirth and discovery. It’s about over coming anything you may come up against no matter how over whelming the struggle may be. It’s about believing, especially when you have nothing, no family, no friends, no knowledge, that you can achieve whatever you want if the drive within you is great enough.
Characters are realised and explored beautifully and the struggle becomes your own as you relate to the story’s heroine. Her plight, although extreme and fantastic, is relateable in the context of the tale.
The art is simple, yet perfect. You feel movement, emotion and the epicness of the journey without even realising it. It sucks you in big time. Each moment, large and small is rendered with a precise cinematic flare which draws you further into the character’s world.
I’ve read all the Luna Brothers previous work now and they are true masters of portraying real people thrust into dealing with unbelievable situations. They effortlessly bring human elements to a story with plot and art that is so effective, you are left effected.
Try the issue I’ve linked below and you’ll get an idea of the tone and pitch of the story. This is an adult book though, make no bones about it, but not because of bloody deaths, strong language or huge battles. This is adult because the themes of the journey are strong and yet tender. They can really only be fully appreciated once you’ve experienced a struggle, loss and lived some life on your own.
I recommend you try and pick up the gorgeous hardbacks, available from book stores, comic shops and Amazon before there are out of print. You won’t regret it in the slightest.
I expect this to certainly get picked up for a movie adaptation sooner rather than later, so get in now whilst no ones looking.
Another utter gem from Kirkman and Ottley this month. I love Invincible with a passion!!! Best and only superhero comic I actively read and am genuinely excited and invested in. More more and more please. Art, story, characters all superb.
Here’s the thing about Invincible, it’s story is fresh, new and simply put just flat out original. There may be elements that are old school sure, but here their given a welcome new spin that’s always unpredictable and yet logical. That’s all you need, and unfortunately there is very little of that in mainstream comics these days.
Never ever ever split up the tag team creative duo of Kirkman and Ottley on this title. It’s what makes the whole package so fluid and truly sets it apart from the rest. And by set its apart, I mean puts it in a league of it’s own that the others just can’t touch.
I’m actually amazed and pleasantly surprised, maybe relieved is more apt, that Crossed: Family Values#7 concluded the series on a relatively happy and hopeful note. Given the massively messed up nature of the book I was expecting the worst for our seemingly doomed protagonists. It has been a harsh harrowing journey that’s had me gasping for breath as it turned my stomach in many places, but those last few pages were definitely a happy ending by Crossed standards.
As always this series, probably more so than the last in fact, has had me sickened to my core on numerous occasions. Yet all the while I couldn’t help but let myself get dragged deeper into it’s doomed drenched landscape with gleeful ease.
There’s been many an image scorched into my brain by Barreno’s high quality, horrifying yet super effective art on this run, but the main strength for me has been the writing. David Lapham’s done a first rate job of really established and cemented that large family dynamic beautifully, before then distorting and perverting it in true Crossed style. Thankfully, we’ve emerged at the end with a new, all be it smaller, family being formed and it’s one with a much stronger will to survival I think.
Top marks all round from me. Original content at it’s most brutal that I guarantee you. Can’t wait for 3D and Psychopath, they both have me intrigued.