Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Graphic Novel Review: Unsounded Vol 1

The main story revolves around rude, loud-mouthed Sette Frummagem, daughter of the Lord of Thieves. Sette is on a mission from her Da', and she'll lie, cheat, and steal to make sure it's a success (she'll lie, cheat, and steal anyway). Condemned to aid her in her rotten endeavors is a rotten corpse by the name of Duane Adelier, who seems oddly talented with the supernatural, and oddly not laying motionless in the dirt.

Events are quickly complicated by the appearance of the "Red Berry Boys", a gang of criminals who at first appear to be simple slavers, but are soon discovered to have a stranger and much more disturbing agenda. That agenda appears to have an uncanny number of connections to Sette's mission, and as such Sette inadvertently finds herself wrapped up in their schemes. It's not long before she and Duane are in over their heads and under fire from all sides. Priorities change from just carrying out her appointed task to living to see the next sunrise.

The road is long and no one is what they seem. Never trust a thief, and never trust anyone who won't let you look into their eyes.

Welcome to another round of Lexie funded a Kickstarter and here is the reward!  I'm having a banner time as far as Kickstarter and comics go and Unsounded is no different!  Before I go on, you can read chapters 1-7 here at the comic's webpage for free, the first volume collects chaps 1-3 and some misc stuff (like a short story, sketches, such and so).  And because I adore Television Tropes webpage as a recreational hobby to explore (can we add that to Goodreads to count as 'reading'?) I spoiled myself something rotten on stuff not in the first three chapters.

I'll point out I can't stand how Sette speaks more than half the time.  I'm pretty sure this is intentional on the creator's part as Cope seems to be a cheeky lil' bit when it comes to her comic.  Sette colorly, but more importantly she over pronounces things.  Like 'stupid' is always 'stoopid'. 

The first chap sets up our main Duo quite well.  We see how recklessly brash Sette can be, how little she cares about anything that isn't on her agenda, how little patience Duane has for her and how close they both are to killing each other.  They run into a sentient tree root, which almost ends really bad for everyone and ends really bad for everyone who isn't a main character.  Which is actually how it works out in most skirmishes that involve the main characters.

I really like Cope's artwork.  What you see above is how most panels look, though she pays special attention to backgrounds, clothing details and will without warning go into a completely different art style for 'splash' pages.  Though what is adorably cute to see with Sette being annoyed is horrifyingly disturbing when a child is found brutally butchered. 

The first chapter could be seen as an one-shot comic to draw readers in--it has action, magic, terror, brats, zombies, near death, real death, explosions...but chapters two and three prove things to be way more serious.  Sette is quite as settled in her role as heir to her Da's infamous empire as she'd like Duane (or the world) to think, Duane isn't the happy-go-lucky Galit (not to be confused with a zombie) he...well okay he never appears to be happy-go-lucky.  Mostly grumpy, irritated and rude.  The slavers aren't quite slavers. 

The land is not quite forgiving or welcoming.

Its a ball of fun!  Definitely check out the series (hey you can read it for free).  I have no idea if Cope is going to be printing MORE of the first volume, but I hope she prints volume 2.  I'll definitely be chipping in again!