Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Silent Hill: Past Life #1



A brief review of the latest Silent Hill comic released by IDW Publishing. ‎

23 comments:

DerKork said...

Well, these circles around some objects seem to be inspired by the one ring - especially one that had elven writing on it.

But then I think of some games and their HUDs and find them to look kind of similiar... Or maybe it's just coffee stains, who knows as of today?

Overkill said...

hey linkara nice review i want to pick this one up but sadly its not gonna be here in my area for another 2 to 3 weeks the comic book store guy said so im saddend by that but i will pick it up when i can

Essencewing said...

I just might read that comic, but I'm busy preparing for both a D&D campaign and some crowbar shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

Do you really hate stylised artwork that much?

Every time in your reviews when some artist isn't striving for realism, I see you bashing them into hell, even if it's a good artist!

You did it with Ben Templesmith as well as with Sam Kieth, both of whom are artists who do not even aim for realism to begin with.
Their works are SUPPOSED to look grotesque or goofy!

Is this some specifically American prejudice?
In Europe the art-style can range from realistic, to cartoony, to bizarre, and I find no-one complaining.
Damn, even manga can range from Lucky Star to Fist of the North Star!

Try it in the US, and people will rip you to shreds (I saw people freaking out over Ultimate Spiderman having a bit of a cartoonish look)

What's wrong with it!

Anonymous said...

Now I want to read it, I like the art style, and the Civil War era story idea. When I saw those rings, I thought they were doing the game Assassin's Creed visual effects.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Do you really hate stylised artwork that much?

Every time in your reviews when some artist isn't striving for realism, I see you bashing them into hell, even if it's a good artist!"

Because if I can't follow the story, if I can't tell what I'm looking at, then there's something wrong. Sequential art has a limited amount of space to tell a story, with individual snapshots meant to follow in sequence. I need to be able to know what I'm looking at if I'm to read it.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

And especially for a horror comic I need to know what I'm looking at, since if something terrifying or horrific happens, I need to be able to distinguish it from the regular imagery.

A Friend said...

Regarding Silent Hill Timelines, SH2 introduces a couple of earlier events, like the whole Blood Swamp hanging / skewering bit, and the plague in the 1840s.

Given the whole "Shadow over Innsmouth" homage going on, it's possible that "plague" is euphemistic for "monster outbreak" here in the same way that it was euphemistic for "fish people being killed in a government coverup" in that story.

BUT, this is kind of trivia and the SH timeline is pretty foggy so it's open to interpretation.

Sincerely,

A Friend

Anonymous said...

hey linkara today at 1pm central time stan lee will be interviewed by npr and he will take questions from callers
banjo tooie

Andrew said...

I have to admit I'm not big on horror comics but you do make this one seem interesting and perhaps worth a look when it comes out in my area. Though when it comes to IDW, I've really fallen in love with their Ghostbusters comics, especially a one-shot Halloween comic done by a friend of mine on Deviantart. Check out the comic and his profile when you can, they're both great!

http://traditionaldanimatio.deviantart.com/

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should stop punishing yourself with this crap. You already put yourself through 3 weeks of hell...give yourself (and us, by proxy) a break from Silent Hill. Beyond the first two games, everything with the Silent Hill name on it is shit. Let's stop giving it money and or attention and hope it dies.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

" Anonymous said...
Maybe you should stop punishing yourself with this crap. You already put yourself through 3 weeks of hell...give yourself (and us, by proxy) a break from Silent Hill. Beyond the first two games, everything with the Silent Hill name on it is shit. Let's stop giving it money and or attention and hope it dies."

Well, see, the problem with that theory is that I like the 3rd, 4th, Homecoming, Shattered Memories is growing on me, Sinner's Reward, and this brief review was pretty positive.

There's plenty of GOOD Silent Hill stuff beyond just the first two games. I torment myself on the crap because it's funny.

Bret said...

I went and looked into the artist (Menton3) and found that those sorts of arcane circles and measurements or Lord of the Ring style wristings around the circumfrence are just his "Style" of art. Get used to seeing them without explanation.

Sooz said...

Seconding A Friend- 2 alone has tons of hints that Silent Hill has pretty much ALWAYS been full of weirdness (the Little Baroness incident, f'rex) and the SH1 events were just one blip of several.

I am restraining myself from nerding out too much over the timeline/mythology. I hope everyone is grateful for this.

Sooz said...

Oh, PS: Thanks for bringing this to our attention! It looks like it might actually be palatable, and I would never have picked it up otherwise, having learned my lesson from those terrible books with Christabella and co.

Satire Knight said...

I haven't yet watched this review (I have to wait for my baby brother to leave, since this would scare him silly) but I wanted to mention that my mother really appreciates your lack of profanity, because she really hates it when reviewers do that.

SlugLady28 said...

Nice, i'll have to check it out. I am curious about Riley's work in this. I've seen his other comics and his style works really well in them. But i have a problem with comics switching artwork so drastically in the middle of an issue. Whether i like the art or not, switching the art so much can pull me right out of the story

Jannet_Jazz said...

Moving up in the world aren't ya, sweets?

Got big shots sending you their work, getting interviewed, having people run around dressed like you...sounds like you've really become a star!

I knew you had it in you!

Benjamin J said...

Well, by the look of this (and my initial assumption, knowing how a lot of this kind of art is produced), I suppose the artwork was generally inspired by Ashley Wood, once of Hellspawn, Popbot, and Metal Gear Solid fame. Wood tended to lean towards the abstract often, mainly because he himself was inspired by the work of Dave McKean (Who any Sandman fans should know all about).

The problem there is that McKean really only abstracts when it comes to his cover art and more thematically ambiguous work. When he was actually doing a sequential piece of comic book art(Black Orchid, Arkham Asylum, Cages, etc) he toned down the extraneous bells and whistles in favor of more coherent - and dare I say, traditional - storytelling techniques, without sacrificing any of his (amazing to the billionth freaking power) style and technique. Wood took his cues from McKean, and although hard to follow on occasion, still abstracting when possible, for the most part, he tells the stories when necessary.

The third generation of this particular style (it's becoming more prevalent than it used to be) seems to miss the point often, sometimes entirely, tacking on the sort of odd visual elements that, while interesting, also don't make a whole lot of sense, don't add anything to the story, and more often than not, confuse the whole narrative. It's the same sort of style over substance boogeyman that cropped up in early 90s Image Comics artwork, only under a different facade.

Julian said...

"Do you really hate stylized artwork that much?"

To be fair to Linkara he says that Riley’s type of art has its place and compliments some parts of it.

"Because if I can't follow the story, if I can't tell what I'm looking at, then there's something wrong. Sequential art has a limited amount of space to tell a story, with individual snapshots meant to follow in sequence. I need to be able to know what I'm looking at if I'm to read it."

And to be far to Keith and Templesmith I'd say while their work is stylized It still possesses clarity, true some of Templesmith's earlier work was a little to murky for it's own good(Silent Hill), however I've never had a problem reading Fell or Wormwood.
Visual clarity and stylization are both vital parts of comic book art, I suppose it's a matter of balance.

Sooz said...

Dave McKean is a pretty good painter but a terrible sequential artist and I don't understand why people keep having him do interior art on comics. Or why anyone would go into comicry saying, "Y'know what we need more of? UNCLEAR, EXPRESSIONIST PAINTING STYLES! This is PERFECT for communicating what's going on!"

Super Taco Bell said...

As other people pointed out, I think the abstract artwork it's not bad at all. As an art student I actually like it. But I haven't read the comic, so I don't know if it's easy to read with that kind of artwork.

Also, have you seen Silent Hill No Escape? It's a fan film.

Waiting for the next review!

Shanya Almafeta said...

Re. circles: I can't help but imagine they represent 'highlighted' or 'interactable' items like you'd see in a video game...