Oblivion Song volume 1
Whilst I do think he’s a good writer, I do sometimes puzzle over Kirkman’s popularity in terms of sales and the career that he’s had.
He’s had some sizeable hits and none of them do anything that’s not been done before in terms of concept. He just does them in a creator owned environment. As a character creator, he’s pretty average as well, but as a character writer he’s great.
What he does do is write accessible genre comics, build living and breathing universes…and while I’m very rarely blown away I do find his stuff pretty solid; Outcast, The Walking Dead etc are all nice easy, enjoyable reads and they, along with Oblivion Song all have a common factor; great drama, and I guess that’s where Kirkman’s strength lies.
Oblivion song is his latest and it’s another post apocalyptic effort, which suits me just fine.
It takes what appears to be influences from Stranger Things and The Mist and just takes them a little bit further in terms of the parallel earth.
In a few words this is what would happen if there’s a transference event between a 30 mile radius on earth and that 30 mile radius on a parallel earth, one loaded with lots of creatures, fungus etc
I read the first issue when it came out and while it didn’t wow me it did do enough for me to decide to buy this first volume.
Second impressions while reading it are the same as the first in terms of the story - but not with the art, while not without ability in the sense of the drawings are nice, even if not really a style I go for, has very messy composition.
I find it really difficult to work out what is happening in the panels and have to stop to stare until I get it before I can move on, this of course is very disruptive to the flow of sequential story telling and is a major problem for me and will turn me straight off books because the art is not serving the story. In many sections it’s panel after panel of wondering what the fuck it is I’m looking it. Frustrating bordering on infuriating.
Style is winning over function in many cases here. I don’t recall having this issue first time round.
What doesn’t help are the colours - they are such a problem that it really compounds things. My eye is continually drawn to all the wrong places which is a flaw on both the artist and the colourist, the latter whose job it is also to steer the readers eye to the most relevant parts of the panel. Murky, with people, clothing and backgrounds all running into each other. Very little separation at all. Someone needs to give the colourist a colour wheel and explain some basics.
Really poor in places and I’m not exaggerating. even the back page we’ve got a character morphing into a car which is morphing into what looks like joints of meat but I’m going to assume it’s meant to be rocks.
Another problem with the art is I found it really hard to tell who was who, at somepoints I was getting characters mixed up at other points the character looked different in some panels from others. As a result this took a lot longer to read than it should have. It wasn’t until issue 3 or 4 I realised that Bridget and Heather were not the same person, wondering why heather was referring to Nathan as Duncan.
Bizarrely the art and colours do improve a bit as the book goes on, almost as if they are both learning on the job.
The story is good though and it’s engaging, once you overlook the art problems.