Rating: 4/5 – Very nice art complimenting a story for kids
While the full sensory experience of reading paper comics has yet to be duplicated digitally, there is still much good to be found there. While I wrestle with my personal transition, we turn to a new offering from Comixology, Eve of the Ozarks. Comixology has recently started hosting self-published comics, including this book from Gustav Carlson. I place this comic somewhere in the continuum that encompasses illustrated narrative and comics books. To me, this strip is evocative of the best of children’s illustrated fiction as crossed with comic books.
The star of the story is Eve, who loves trees, and they seem pretty fond of her. She lives in the rural mountains with her father or more accurately “Paw” and is friends with the local flora and fauna. Barred by her father from visiting the Bluffs because it is too dangerous, Eve convinces her best friend, Hieronymous, an old silent goat, to take her. The bluffs are guarded by an ancient antlered elk who throws anyone off the cliff. Hieronymous faces off against that spirit with the expected successful result. Eve and her father speak in a phonetic slang as portrayed in the word balloons.
This is a short tale of 12 pages that lives or dies on the strength of its artwork. The pictures have many lines but Carlson is expert at conveying the necessary expressions to communicate the moods of Eve and also the supporting characters. Unlike some works, here the cover perfect displays the same high quality and style found inside the comic, so if you find it appealing, proceed. If it doesn’t interest you, pass on this book. While there is a small level of menace provided by the elk spirit, this really is perfect for most any age, assuming there is no objection to the phonetic slang dialogue “Bet yeh can wallop any old elk! Cantcha Hieronymus?” Issue two is already complete and available from the author’s website, http://www.backwoodfolk.com/ which provides an avenue for print copies as well.
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