Friday, December 11, 2015

Review - Snow Blind #1 (@BOOMStudios)


"She gave him a look, hard as diamonds, the revolver held tight in her hand."

Great works of literature share many characteristics, one of which is memorable lines. Those lines stand out amongst a myriad of others within the work to make a great story. Whatever the subject of the story is, infusing with references to other works always does a good job in piquing the interest of the reader. That's exactly what Snow Blind #1 from BOOM! Studios does. The issue is written by Ollie Masters, illustrated by Tyler Jenkins and lettered by Colin Bell.

What happens when you discover your dad isn’t the man you thought he was? For high school teen Teddy, life in a sleepy suburb in Alaska turns upside-down when he innocently posts a photo of his dad on Facebook, only to learn he and his family are in the Witness Protection Program. A man seeking revenge invades their town, and soon FBI agents arrive, too. But what if his dad’s reasons for going into the program aren’t as innocent as he says?

Teddy is just like any other kid, except for the whole "breaking into the library thing." Masters uses unique characteristics such as that to make him an interesting character, subtly maneuvering the minefield that is high school by being a loner. Relying on that characterization is the catalyst for the entire story--Teddy struggles so much to fit in that in doing so he inadvertently sets off a dangerous chain of events. The circumstances surrounding that chain of events is what propels the narrative to the fairly dramatic ending that promises to continue the mystery and Masters is laying the groundwork for something bigger. His pretty tightly-woven script reveals things in increments, where it's enough to really capture the reader's attention, but not enough to reveal everything at once.

The story aside, Snow Blind #1 really stands out based on its truly unique artistic look. Jenkins relies on lines that cut across all the artwork rendered in a watercolor style. Despite the relatively simplistic style, Jenkins manages to make every character's portrayal feel weighty with action and kineticism. Teddy is illustrated with a look appropriate for a misunderstood teenager, replete with a simple t-shirt accented by bolder pants. The use of color carries the book even further, with Jenkins choosing to punctuate various scenes with splashes of red against the otherwise bland green/black/blue palette. That's not to say the coloring itself is boring; rather, Jenkins uses colors to great effect when emphasizing various aspects of the story.

Snow Blind #1 is a mystery set in Alaska, where the one trying to figure everything out is a somewhat aloof teenager. Teddy learns more about his situation thanks to him struggling to look good in front of his dad and it's those details that the reader will enjoy unraveling. Masters' script is clean and does an effective job of setting everything up for the reader to take in. Jenkins uses an artistic style that's loose and effective at maintaining a semblance of chaos. Snow Blind #1 is a strong first issue that has all the pieces to be something grand.

Snow Blind #1 is in stores now.








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