Rumors of War
I gave this my vote for November and a four star rating.
Page one opens with a bit of silent exposition which surprisingly continues into silent story telling lasting all the way through to page 6.
I've seen the 'silent' thing before. Usually it's a gimmick and not particularly effective.
I think it's seen as something of a 'vanity project' in the pro world. Prove your storytelling skills by eliminating the dialog!
I hate it when they do that. When you're driving do you feel compelled to honk the horn just to prove that you have one?
No. The horn is a tool to be used at the appropriate moment.
I believe Rumors of War demonstrates a proper grab from the toolbox and...
it really proves some storytelling skills.
Linework is lively and varied. Good texturing. Figures have weight. Initially limited color palette that expands meaningfully as new ideas are introduced. Good sense of scale. Crazy creature designs.
So why didn't I give it a 5 star?
Well firstly I'm just difficult to score 5 on. Maxy, Ulysses (but only after the second entry) Night Owls, Bayou (though I'm thinking about rescinding down to four) Imaginary Boys, Street Code, Melody and High Moon are my only 5 star comics thus far. Crooked Man and Supertron come close and I'm sure I could think of a few others that just missed out, but the point I want to make is that the 5 star brotherhood is rare company.
But what could have been done to get that extra star?
The coloring was more subdued than I like. Lots of dull colors which aren't necessarily a bad choice, but since I'm such a bright cheery person I like to see some bright cheery colors. I also felt that an opportunity was missed to use cast shadows to obscure forms. Again not a criticism of the shadow work that is present but with so many repeated images I think it would've been nice to have a panel or two to linger on and maybe create a different sort of depth.
And finally it's just hard to give 5 stars to a story that I know so little about. It's dead fascinating but it's still getting up to speed. Most of my 5 star comics had established more story by the end of page 8.
Of course there's no way around THAT problem short of rewriting it from scratch and what good would that be? It works! It's good! Vote for it.