Saturday, March 25, 2006

Robotika #2 - Taking a Comic Seriously

Whether one enjoys the work that Alex Sheikman is doing on Robotika, I think that one would have to admire how seriously he is taking the comic, and the execution of the comic. In #1, one of the problems that I had with the book (and I know a few other people had the same concern) was the odd dialogue Sheikman chose for one of the characters, having her dialogue appear top to bottom, rather than left to right. In this issue, Sheikman defends the practice, but at the same time, he clearly tries to adapt the process of making the dialogue by making her dialogue appear more clearly than it did in #1. He still does not want to back down from the artistic standard he has put into place (which is that the dialogue achieves the goal of making the reader ill at ease with her language, just like how someone learning a new language is ill at ease with the language), but he is willing to work on making his standards accessible. That level of thought is impressive.

Of course, on top of this, Robotika #2 is a cool book ANYways.

Archaia Studios Press was kind enough to send me a copy of #2 (along with a copy of Mouse Guard #1, which I had already reviewed here, but I still appreciated the copy, as I love Mouse Guard), and it is a real treat to read.

Sheikman's art, as usual, is the star of the show, but the story is not too shabby either! The art, though, along with Joel Chua's great covers (Chua also provides a nice cover) make the book just stunning to look at. The scene of Niko (our hero) climbing up the steps carved into a tall mountain? Breathtaking.

Also, through his art, Sheikman manages to convey a good deal of Niko's emotion, which is good, because Niko is mute. There is a fight scene, and in it, Niko quickly transforms from his normal, quiet self into a killing machine - the look in his eyes - wow. If only artists could convey Wolverine's blood frenzy so effectively!

In any event, at the beginning of this series, it appeared that Niko's search for a new organism (half alive/half machine) was going to be the spotlight of the series, but with some drastic actions in this issue, it appears as though we were mistaken to believe that that was going to be the case. And the drastic turn of events seems to be quite interesting, or, at the very least, very intriguing.

So, if you want to see an interesting samurai/futuristic story with some amazing fantasy art, then Robotika is the book for you.

Here's a bit I did on the first issue.

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