With less than eight days to go for the Dark Beach #2 Kickstarter, we’re lucky enough to snag a copy to let you know…is it good?
Dark Beach #2
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
A scifi noir comic that follows Gordo, a black market photographer, as he attempts to uncover the truth of why there is no longer a sun.
Why does this book matter?
This series takes place in a dystopian future where humans live without a sun. Why that is, and why a cover up is taking place, is a compelling mystery indeed. If you dig science fiction stories with big ideas, this is a no brainer.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
A very pretty page.
The first issue did well to set up the mystery as Gordo attempts to figure out why an innocent girl was saved. This journey takes him to sun cafes where people bathe in artificial light, but also much closer to the scientists who are helping keep the dome they live under working. Writers Michael J. Ruiz-Unger and Tucker Tota do a good job filling in readers who may have missed the first issue, so don’t be afraid of jumping in here, as they introduce Gordo and the key players well. It’s not a lot of rehashing or exposition though either.
This series is shaping up to be compelling due to the big ideas that lurk in the gutters of the story just waiting to be revealed. It also plays with expectations well. This issue opens with characters on a boat in the water as they sun themselves. It’s very much not what the world is like anymore and it makes sense given humanity’s obsession with augmenting our experiences. New characters are fleshed out well in this issue, but also key flashbacks that help the reader understand how this new world works. It all leads to a cliffhanger that certainly raises the stakes for Gordo too.
The art by Sebastian Piriz (with colors by Ray Jones and letters by Javier Puga) is quite nice in an indie sort of way. There’s a retro feel from time to time, with layouts that pace the book well. I’m a sucker for panels that show elevators or staircases running down a page, which this book has both of! The flashback in the issue, seen via a drug experience, has a cool rainbow color look with nice texture to show a bit of age. It’s a good way to convey the flashback, but also a nice full page of images that bleed into each other.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The last few pages slow things down to a crawl unfortunately with an exposition heavy scene to get the reader a lot of information fast. The art is reduced to fit the word balloons, but the backgrounds are flat and the art seemingly less detailed than in previous pages. The general composition is okay, but less interesting than in the previous pages. That said, the information and cliffhanger are nice touches, just not delivered in the most interesting of ways.
I’m all for learning how this world works and at this stage there’s still a lot to be explained. It leaves you wondering more than maybe you should (or maybe it’s my impatience), but it also makes certain elements stand out. One full page spread for instance, shows a piece of equipment (avoiding spoilers!) that I’m not sure what it is or why I should care. It’s clearly something that’ll matter later, but how it’s delivered here only confuses the reader when they only want more answers.
The plot thickens!
Is It Good?
This is a good second issue that has well written characters and a science fiction premise that’s compelling as hell. I’m on board for more Dark Beach, but to ensure there is make sure to support the Kickstarter for issue #2 today!