Review: Skin and Earth #1
Publisher: Dynamite Comics
‘Skin & Earth is a story of a girl looking for hope in a hopeless world. Caught between romance and cults, gods and mortals, and just trying to find a good borscht, Enaia Jin is lead down a dark path by new lovers that reveal a twisted fantasy world and her own true nature. Set in a post-apocalyptic future where corporations rule, this adventurous tale of loneliness, deceit and self-discovery begins here!
Written and drawn by alt-pop phenomenon Lights, Skin & Earth ties directly into her next full length album, released in Fall 2017 on Warner Bros Records.’
Should I feel bad? I have no idea who Lights is. She seems popular so that explains why she can roll out her own concept comic book that ties in with, well, pretty much everything else about her. She even has an interactive map of the geographical setting within the comic book, where you can search and click to reveal insider information about the idiosyncrasies of the tale. Great stuff. This is the packaging that some within the industry could only dream about, and spend a career without ever seeing coming to fruition.
Luckily, the writing within the comic is solid. It’s got great presence, it’s measured and it’s intriguing. The plot revolves around Enaia and her struggle to drift between the toxic sub-class set that she’s found herself forced to inhabit, and the advanced, clean corporate world of the wealthier half of the population, in what appears to be near-future America. We are held by the hand and walked through the past and present of our protagonist in a way that makes it hard not to empathise. Feeling for the characters is the most important hurdle any writer needs to negotiate and Lights seems to find it second nature.
The artwork will not be to everyone’s tastes. The pencilling is a little rough, perhaps unnecessarily, and the whole book could do with looking a little less cartoonish. Faces aren’t detailed and the end result is oversimplified features and unrealistic expressions. It’s passable but not quite up to the standard of the writing, which is personal and at times haunting. And this is what the overall impression is. The writer has put her heart into this and the feel is that this is a deep gouging of the psyche. There are shrill, poignant moments where we hold our breath, and this is matched by the somber tones of the colouring. Future America looks bleak here, and bright and bold give way to dusty, toxic pales, with flashbacks in the expected washed-out monotones we’ve come to expect nowadays. The tones are more than a match for the mood.
Overall, an impressive first jaunt into new territory. A haunting tale with a strong, intriguing protagonist and a stick-in-your-mind final frame. Worth a pop but don’t expect mind-blowing artwork.
Thank you for reading our review of Skin and Earth #1. We here at the Chico Comics Page appreciate your viewership. We invite you to check back with us soon as we post often. Or, you can follow us on Facebook (The Chico Comics Page) and Twitter (@ChicoComicsPage) for regular updates on all of our posts.
Review written by Arun S.
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