February! The worst month of the year. :(
But I'm thinking it's the best month of Zuda comics ever.
Strangely I've aroused the ire of one random native. I don't know what it is specifically that got this guy riled up since mostly I've only gone around proclaiming love.
And love is what I've got. I don't even remember which comic I'm getting to review first but I'm still excited because I know they're all good.
Azz's Inferno - Thane Benson
The first thing I love about this entry is that we're getting a 3 row per page standard. That results in a whole bunch of 'mini-panels' and I think it might be a sign of expanding understanding of the best ways to utilize the Zuda picture plane. Page 8 even goes to FOUR rows for goodness sake!
Actually that may have been a bit of a push. The most important image in the entire comic probably shouldn't be a micro-sized panel #14 (!) on page # 8.
But that's a quibble. Look at how much story is expressed. Observe that even though most of the story is a voiceover we actually know who the narrator is and he's speaking in a consistent voice.
If you must narrate your story, this is one good way to do it.
Mr. Benson doesn't limit himself to a strict interpretation of the 3 row page design and yet even when he does he frequently uses continued images to expand the feeling of space without breaking the rhythm of the story. For a few examples of what I'm talking about refer to page #7. Particularly pay attention to the middle row which depicts a scene which works as either a single static image of the construction in progress OR it could be interpreted as a chronological sequence since the work being performed by the skeletons depicts a more advanced state of accomplishment in each panel, from basic resource gathering in panel one to a completed city-scape in panel four.
The dual interpretation is delicious.
I like the simplicity and sameness of the skeleton designs. This isn't a human story and it was a good decision to make that mass of humanity into a homogenous element of design rather than muddying the viewers interest with needlessly attention-grabbing character designs. The demons are the focal point and Mr. Benson has made them colorful and interesting.
But the best part is the cliff-hanger ending that you can actually care about. So many Zuda entries have offered up a cliff-hanger ending that seemed lost because it lacked sufficient context.
This comic was fully established. There's lots of good questions going through my head but no confusion about what happened and I'm invested enough in the character to care about what happens to him.
Great start to the month. Four stars. Love it.