Monday, August 8, 2016

Review - The Adventures of Augusta Wind: The Last Story #1 (@IDWPublishing)


"--and let me tell you about the girl who tried to save the Storiverse--"

The predominant outcome of just about any fairy tale is one or more of the characters living happily ever after. Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out that way. In The Adventures of Augusta Wind: The Last Story #1 from IDW Publishing, life is far from working out that way. The issue is written by J.M. Dematteis, illustrated by Vassilis Gogtzilas, colored by Carlos Badilla and lettered by Tom B. Long.

With a malevolent entity about to un-tell every story ever told, erase every character ever imagined (including you!), it's up to Augusta Wind, Mr. Snabbit, the Omniphant and Upton Snuff to stop the Story Killer and save the Storiverse. But weird worlds, bizarre creatures and terrible dangers await them-and victory is not assured!

Dematteis' take on fairy tales in The Adventures of Augusta Wind: The Last Story #1 is somewhat unorthodox in that it looks at them from a new perspective. The book's presentation bounces back and forth between storytelling and comic book, providing the framework for the book to act as a fairy tale in its own right. Dematteis crams a ton of exposition in both formats effectively splitting the book into two different storytellers: the narrator and the characters. It gets to be a little overwhelming at times, but about halfway through things even out a bit and the reader can catch their breath a bit to keep up with what's going on. And there's a good amount of zaniness in the proceedings that makes the book feel sufficiently like a fairy tale as Dematteis throws in a lot of creative characters and situations that stretch the imagination.

Imbuing the work with a sense of the ethereal is Gogtzillas' art. He provides an abstract, painted approach that gives the issue a sense of frenetic energy that accompanies the reader into the new world crafted. There's also a very rough approach taken by Gogtzillas that's bolstered by a seemingly heavy brush and thick cross-hatching that gives the reader the sense that the Storiverse is currently in the throes of a nightmare. The entities in the story are rendered with ferocity and add even more to this nightmarish dynamic. Badilla's colors are fairly dark throughout the issue--again, reinforcing the narrative that Storiverse is not in a good place.

The Adventures of Augusta Wind: The Last Story #1 is a very adventurous take on the concept of fairy tales. Augusta Wind and her cohorts are tasked with maneuvering a hellish nightmare of a world. Despite that, those characters are determined to save the Storiverse and Dematteis throws in plenty of fantasy elements along the way. Gogtzilas' artwork is gritty in a fantasy way and provides a somewhat terrifying look at the Storiverse. The Adventures of Augusta Wind: The Last Story #1 brings in a lot of fairy tale components and mashes them together in a way that's a little unsettling.

The Adventures of Augusta Wind: The Last Story #1 is in stores now.

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