Chico Comics Review: The Ballad of Charlie Farsig
Written by: Troy Vevasis
Art by: Lintu Nunez
Review by: James Kniseley
The Ballad of Charlie Farsig is a fun ride that doesn’t try to do anything else.
The art style for Charlie is simplistic, but it does a great job of conveying emotion. When Charlie is frustrated or sad, you see that communicated extraordinarily well. With how fast the story moves this is very much needed to showcase the characters feelings. The comic makes great use of shadows. During the night, the colors are muted While during the day the colors are more vibrant and warm. There is one panel, in particular, that is drawn well with contrasts between black and white that exquisitely communicates Charlie’s feelings of loneliness.
The story is simple and straight to the point. Charlie is a musician and needs to write a ballad because everyone other big singer has one. While trying to write it, he meets Cindy. Cindy is a tragic character and eventually becomes his muse for the ballad. While the characters are a bit flat and their motivations unclear, they do have a nice rapport with each other. This does lead to some nice moments between the two. Unfortunately, you only really know the characters in how they relate to each other. So when the climax comes, there are some characterization issues because you don’t know the characters as individuals.
The biggest fault is that this story moves way too fast. There needs to be more showing the developing relationship and expanding on Charlie’s character to make the climax feel fully justified. Despite the flaw, the story is compelling, and you will want to finish the story. The ending is well drawn, and you can see how the emotions translated into a hit song. You do feel bad for Charlie that this hit came at such high price.
The dialogue is fairly well written. There are some issues as described above with the characters, but it has a great flow to it. It keeps you engaged and moving. There are some nice exchanges between Charlie and Cindy. It does a fantastic job of pairing with the visuals during the emotional scenes. So despite some shallow characters and unrefined goals, the emotional scenes work.
Should you buy?
Ultimately, this comic is bare bones fun. There is nothing wrong with that, but there is enough intrigue to leave the reader wishing it was a bit longer. There are a few holes in character development that should have been filled in, but the ride is fun while it lasts.
I give this 7.5/10
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