It’s been a while since I’ve done an FI post, but this totally deserves one. Jennifer Potter followed me on Twitter and I don’t know why, but yeah. I don’t understand why I have half the followers I do on Twitter. Also, beyond looking at their avatar, I hardly ever give new Twitter followers more than a cursory inspection. Today was just that kind of day and seeing as Potter’s Twitter timeline was more than marketing hype, I lingered long enough to want to check out their comic, Echo’s Rift. I read the first chapter.
Eliot is 15 and I’m sure there are a lot of 15 year-olds that think their life’s anything but grand. In Eliot’s case, that is no exaggeration. For reasons unknown to him, he and his father live in the middle of nowhere. Compounding the unexplained isolation is a clearly non-negotiable restriction regarding Eliot and him not being allowed to leave the house. His father isn’t mean about it, but the lack of understanding leaves the kid in a strange place. It seems that they’ve been living that way for a while and, even though he hates it and pokes at the boundaries of it, Eliot’s somewhat resigned to it.
One minute there’s a letter and a bunny and the next, his Dad’s telling him he’s got 15 minutes to pack, because they’ve got to go. But the bunny has to stay behind.
The summary promises “monsters, telepaths, mad scientists, and the occasional adorable bunny” (check!), but I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg. At least for the first chapter, the pacing is great and the chapter closes at a perfect place. You meet Eliot and his dad and you read a scene like the one where his dad is at the counter in the gas station and it flows, but calls you back to read it again because something in your head says there’s more to it than initially meets the eye. You get to see the father and son interact and how the coexistence of Eliot’s curiosity, anger, and acquiescence and his father’s reticence and cryptic concern seem relevant, but well-worn. And you can’t help but question how long they’ve been that way. Their circumstances aren’t new to them, but has Eliot’s challenging remarks and his not so silent protests always been a part of the routine? Or are these just the workings of time and adolescence?
What you also get to see is the art. OhMyGoodness! I love it.
The style–it kind of makes me feel like a kid again. The textures–like chalky velvet and microfiber linen… I know, but listen… My eyes simultaneously read multiple grains and weaves and I don’t know how else to explain it. Some things look like they might be made out of velvet, but actually feel like oil pastels and others look like they might be made out of linen, but you get the feeling the hand will be more like microfiber. I don’t know…
There’s also the color palettes, the lighting, the compositions, the perspectives. And just everything. It all comes together in such a way that makes me think I could reach in and pick something up. A tree, the house, the truck… Just pick it up like it’s part of a 3D model. Even the site is cool with its chalky velvet accents and the periodic table tiles advertising the update schedule. I even love the logo.
So, I guess you can say that I liked it. Now I’m looking forward to seeing where the story is going and I’m doubly excited to see more of the art. You guys should check it out.