Is­land

Comic Heroes - - Comics We Rate - Sara We­strop

Re­viewed: Is­sues 1-2

Writer: Var­i­ous

Artist: Var­i­ous

Pub­lisher: Im­age

For­mat: An­thol­ogy This new an­thol­ogy, edited by Bran­don Gra­ham and Emma Ríos, is a beau­ti­ful, un­pol­ished gem with bold art and a heady mix of heart­felt, funny and some­times jar­ring sto­ries.

It’s a cross-plat­form col­lec­tion, which adds to the DIY, fanzine feel and pro­vides some truly breath­tak­ing art. Will Kirby‘s de­tail-packed work pro­vides the cover and first five pages for the sec­ond is­sue, and you could sit and reread those early frames over and over, notic­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent each time.

Emma Rios’ story is another stand­out, an en­gross­ing tale that looks at gen­der iden­tity and body dys­mor­phia in a very sci­en­tific way. Her art­work is beau­ti­fully ex­pres­sive, and the muted colour pal­ette means the fo­cus is kept tightly on the three core char­ac­ters and their in­di­vid­ual jour­neys. Fol­low­ing the con­clu­sion, there’s even an ar­ti­cle on the the­ory of whether – and if so, how – brain trans­plants could ever be a re­al­ity.

That il­lus­trates ex­actly what’s great about Is­land: there’s stuff here that’s in­for­ma­tive, fun and re­ally thought-pro­vok­ing at the same time. No mat­ter what your taste, there will be some­thing here that you’ll en­joy. Be­cause all the artists and writ­ers have such markedly dif­fer­ent styles, noth­ing ever feels samey or repet­i­tive. An im­pres­sive de­but.

Sub­stan­tial sto­ries, not just short se­ri­als.

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