Review - Almost #1


"Well, don't stop now!"

There are a myriad of obstacles in making one's way through life. In Almost #1 from Timepiece Press, one such obstacle happens to be not quite becoming what's expected. The issue is written and illustrated by Todd Jakubisin.

Almost #1 about a [gender neutral] caterpillar who hasn’t fully developed into a butterfly like the rest of their friends and family. With a gift from a balloon twister at The Great Galactic Traveling Circus, the almost butterfly takes off for new horizons, helping a pack of crawling clouds find their place in the sky along the way.

There's a certain charm to Almost #1, primarily in the innocence that Jakubisin imbues into the caterpillar. There's very much a sense of belonging that comes with being surrounded others like you, but in the case of caterpillars when everyone else becomes a butterfly and you don't there's an immediate sense of loneliness. Jakubisin captures this sense well while at the same time providing a variety of characters who both support the caterpillar and take advantage of its position. For instance, if you've ever wondered what the personality of a cloud is, then your answer her is that they're pretty much jerks. There's a sense of incompleteness at the end of the issue which does tie into the narrative quite well and hopefully Jakubisin has more in store for the lead caterpillar.

The art style is a perfect match for the themes of the issue. Jakubisin relies on a style that's a throwback to another era and evokes the same atmosphere as Chad Moldenhauer's artwork on the relatively recent Cuphead. Even the gutters are aged in a way that allows the reader to feel as if they've stumbled upon artwork that's been lost to time. The caterpillar is extremely expressive all things considered and Jakubisin uses its facial expressions to really convince the reader of the prevailing sentiment at that particular point in time. The colors are predominantly muted throughout the issue, providing an additional level of antique sensibilities.

Almost #1 is a book that's very innocent in its approach. The main character is struggling to find a way to keep up with others who have moved on, bringing the reader along for the journey. Jakubisin's script relatively light on detail yet still very lighthearted. The artwork is whimsical in a way that maintains a veneer of childish innocence. Almost #1 is an intriguing first issue that is surprisingly complex in its overarching themes.

Almost #1 is slated for release soon.

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