Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Jova's Harvest #1

In the beginning. . . our father decreed. . . that with light. . . must also come darkness. . . Let me use the creator's language to describe this 3-issue series: "It's an ethical drama about a servant of Heaven who must kill good hearted mortals to strengthen Heaven's dominance over Hell. But despite that, there is no good or evil in this book. There are only grayscales, and it will be up to the reader t0 decide who to root for, or if there is anyone worth rooting for. Expect to see some wigged out stuff in this book (hence the reason I named the mortal world 'Wigg'd'!), some moral dilemmas and arguments, and an ending that may surprise even longtime fans of mine." There you have it. . . here goes my review and if like what you read, sub to the feed!

About the creator,
Steve Uy: Steve's career kicked off at Marvel. He did a cover for Iceman and some pinups for the Marvel Millenial Visions 2001 book. Then Steve created Eden's Trail. Many of you may know Steve best from his latest creation at Image Comics, Feather. Steve's website has tons of previews for Feather and Jova's Harvest. If you're skeptical on taking the plunge, go read a few previews. . . you'll be hooked, I dare you!

On the writing style for Jova's Harvest, let me be clear on a few things. Steve followed two rules in writing the comic. First, it must be absolutely grammatical. Second, all the words have to be in a decent dictionary. With this writing style, every word counts, but don't focus too much on the rhyme scheme.

About the story,
Jova's Harvest #1: First of all, I need to write a killer review, because I loved this story and the extra nudge may be required to get you over the $4.95 US price hump. It is an Arcana Studio product and is about 38 pages of commercial free, quality storytelling in rhyme. Like I said above, don't let that distract you because Jova's Harvest was some of the most lucid, articulate, and creative storytelling I've ever read. Period. Here's an example - "Stay quiet much longer and my own conclusions I'll draw, for if you've left Heaven in secret, you've broken God's law!" Not bad at all.

At the end of #1, there is an explanation of each of the four main characters, all of whom are "lesser gods": Jova, Luci, Sis, and Hermes. Jova is the star character, the harvester entrusted to preserve the mortal world by maintaining the light v. dark equilibrium in slight favor towards light. Luci, Jova's younger brother, was granted the role of being the dark to Jova's light, but he's starting to grow tired of living in Hell and wants to be with his family again. Sis, the sister of Jova and Luci, was not mentioned much in #1, but she apparently has some secrets to be revealed. And last there's Hermes, the liaison between Heaven and Hell. He also cleans up after Jova when mortals discover the secrets of the Harvester. Character development is one of those things that Uy does well.

Review and First Impression: I liked how the story progressed and left little bread crumbs of intrigue to pull the reader in. I have a few examples of these bread crumbs. First, this little boy catches Jova in the act of "harvesting." I'll let you read that part, so as to not spoil the story, but I wonder if that boy and family will have some role later in the story. Second, there's a secret between Hermes and Sis, which they didn't tell Jova, so I'm wondering what the secret may be. Third, there's the tension between Luci and Jova. I'm wondering if Luci's enticements are just a ploy to get Jova to throw the battle between light and dark. The last page doesn't help you understand this question, so just go read that.

The art is awesome! Steve explains that he creates all the objects separately and brings them together in a kind of cel-animation style. I just love the cover to Jova's Harvest #2, so I included that at the top. The art is very expressive of the mood. For instance, when Sis, Hermes, and Jova are all together, the art is vibrant and colorful. When Jova and Luci are engaged, the art is deep, dark, and violent. I loved it!

I can't emphasize how fresh and creative this story is. It's organic and thought provoking. It's also funny. I thought the worm was going to be a 'Dune'-esque travel mechanism, but boy was I wrong! You'll die to find out how Jova travels across the earth. This is funny stuff.

RECOMMENDATION: No doubt, buy #2. This is likely to be one of my favorites of the year. There's so much more to this story than the perfunctory, plain surface drama plaguing many comics. This story can go as deep as you'd like, and then it'll draw you in for more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent review!
Undoubtedly the artwork looks beautiful!

8:34 PM  

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