Thursday, December 22, 2011

Memorial #1 - Review


Writer Chris Roberson and artist Rich Ellis launched their new series Memorial this month through IDW Publishing. The story focuses around Em, a young woman who has lost her memory and searches the city on her lunch breaks trying to find any clues to her forgotten past. But when she finds a strange green door at the end of an alley, her entire life changes from strange to worse. With killer puppets, moving statues, and talking cats filling her life, Em is about to learn the truth behind her mysterious and magical past.

If I had to describe this book I'd say it's two-parts Doctor Who and one part modern urban fantasy. The writing is a mixture of modern and classic fairy tales and the art style is a simple, clean, and bright approach much like The Unwritten takes in its artwork, though with less of the retro feel. It gives it an approachable tone and air to the story that keeps your attention but doesn't rely on the overly dark or morbid imagery that many comics do today.

The one strong quality about this book is that it has a female lead in a comic book that doesn't rely on sexing her up or making her a femme fatale. She's a girl-next-door type without the implications of something sinister or flirtatious. I'm interested to see how Em grows as a character and how her inter-dimensional travel pans out. She seems to be a girl who isn't afraid to take risks, and that's always a recipe for interesting storytelling.

The only downside for some readers I can see to this issue is that it was a little talkative in the form of narration, but that's debatable. I enjoyed it. It didn't slow down the pace of the story at all, but it's definitely an introduction to a world and universe, so there's a lot of information to take in. I recommend giving the captions a second read through, especially in the different dimensions. The plus side of this is that it's world building in a nice way, so that the openness for alternate realities is wide and vast for readers.

This book is great for someone who is trying to get their girlfriend or friend into comics. There's a female lead you can stand behind, a great fantasy element that readers of Harry Potter or Fables can enjoy, and fans of shows like Doctor Who can appreciate the plot and setup. I'm going to give this first issue a 4.5/5 for being a good start to what looks like a promising series.

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