Chico Comics Review: Shexie Meiren
Written by: Michael Kelley
Art by: Rain Art Studios
Reviewed by: James Kniseley
Shexie Meiren is a gritty tale that is wonderfully compelling.
Meiren is presented in black and white with a smattering of color to highlight important visuals. This makes it visually interesting. If you’ve ever seen or read Sin City, this has a similar feel to it. One of the ways it uses color is for lighting. Street lamps will give off an eerie glow that contrasts well the grayness of the rest of the page. The way light is used almost give the comic a foggy feel, and it perfectly fits with the tone of the comic.
The narration and dialogue are arranged fairly well. However, There are some placement issues. There were a couple of times where the reading order wasn’t clear. This will be something that the writers will have to watch going forward. Leading the eye is important to comics, and a few pages get too convoluted with dialogue to effectively lead the reader where they are supposed to go next. Thankfully, it is a minor issue.
One area that impressed me is the characters. For being a first issue, the characters are given great breathing room. Our main protagonist, Shexie, is wonderfully written. As the comic goes on you, learn a little more about here. issue 1 does a great job of giving Shexie different layers. She’s very job oriented, and that is presented near the beginning. As long as she gets her money, she’ll do what she has to. She is an anti-hero. During a fight at the start of the comic, her internal dialogue contrasts her inward cautiousness with her outward confidence. She’s also got some wit which gives some space for humor in this bleak world.
There are a few other characters that are introduced, but none of them are as fleshed out as Shexie. It will be up to subsequent chapters to give them as good as characterizations. After reading through this, I have nothing but confidence that the other characters will be given more to do.
The story starts with a familiar dystopian setup. A brief narration sets up the world and doesn’t overload you with details. It can be difficult to do world building and not overload the audience, but this comic walks that fine line extremely well. It gets the exposition out of the way early and still keeps the reader engaged.
This first issue teases a lot of things. There is a sense of mystery to this, and I love it. There is also a sense of desperation as there is limited resources for the protagonists. If this can be turned into a part of the story line and not just a throw away line, I will be excited. There is a lot of potential for some great stories.
Should you buy
Overall, this is a well-crafted comic that deserves attention. I’m very interested to see where they take this. It has an interesting setup and a promising future. Everything about this deserves your attention.
This comic is currently on Kickstarter. So go show them some love. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aiccomics/aic-comics-titles-shexie-meiren-agent-sparx-and-mo/description
I give this 9/10
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