Graphic Novel Review 269/365: Shutter

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days! Or search #365GN on Twitter.

Hey, all! I have some cool things coming your way in April, so make sure that you are checking back every day. I appreciate you for reading.

My C2E2 weekend was an absolute blast, and I look forward to regaling you with stories throughout the week as I bring you titles that I picked up at the show.  And today, I’m pleased to bring you a cool Image book drawn by Leila del Duca.  I was on a panel with Leila on Friday, and she was so cool that she donated the books that she brought to the panel to my classroom library, one of them being Shutter.

Title: Shutter 

Author(s): Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca

Publisher: Image Comics (2015)

Age Rating: 17+ (Language and Gore)

Volume One of Shutter (“Wanderlost”) contains the first six issues of the Image series.  Six issues is a good number.  You can get a lot of story in six issues, but as my students strolled into class and asked me what the book was about, I could only tell them…”I’m not really sure yet…something about this girl that used to go on adventures with her dad, but now, I think he’s dead, and her family is a mystery to her, oh, and yeah, she has this skeleton butler that helped raise her, and she has a cool robot cat/clock that is like a personal assistant.  And there is this lion mafia gang and a fox creature that rides a triceratops.”

So as you might have figured, Volume One is strange, and it leaves a ton of unanswered questions, but damn if it ain’t one of the coolest, more captivating books I’ve read in a while.

The volume is dense without ever feeling overwhelming.  It’s characters are weird but not forced.  The backstory is sparse but powerful.

Leila del Duca’s art compliments the writing of Joe Keatinge in a way that feels seamless.  Large panels populate much of the book to portray a scale that is needed to imagine the futuristic landscape.  Flashbacks often have a slight fog to them, indicating the passage of time, separating them from the present.  And other characters’ stories are often told in a different panel structure or slightly different lines: the art is still del Duca, but the changes are defined enough to vary the feel of the book.  Shutter often feels like a collection of shorter pieces, put together to create a thrilling cohesive story that leaves me just confused enough to run out for volume two.

There is no back matter here, and that’s a bit disappointing.  I want a few glimpses into the creative process of this team.  This book is too cool to not have back matter!  Maybe the other volumes have it.  And I guess I’ll find out because I’m hooked on some Shutter!  And I’m sure my students will love it too!  Check my rating before you go giving this to freshmen though…

Happy reading!

Eric

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