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Saturday, February 6, 2016

SinEater 2. JoJo King (Writer), Chase Dunham (Art), Alex Giles (Letters) Insane Comics (2016)

A gloriously confident second issue that pushes the story forward with tremendously engaging force. Cassandra and Nik manage to leave the town and trying to decide where to go. The decide, more or less, and head out on their trek and find themselves in very significant trouble which may well be just an introduction to even more significant trouble to come.
The confidence of the creative team is a joy to red, the art is allowed to do the heavy lifting where required, at other points dialogue is crucial and it is presented in an way that prevents it being a simple information dump, it is smartly dynamic and informative. The action is outstanding, brutal without ever obliterating the story and used to reveal the cast as they respond to pressure.
JoJo King has solved a number of story problems with great skill, the first and foremost how to develop Cassandra into a more robust character. In the first issue she was much more acted upon that in control, in this issue she strides strongly into a more assertive role that she is going to have to have to support the story, she is becoming herself away from the walls of the town. The entity inside Cassandra introduces itself much more fully and introduces a key plot element. This is a hard process to manage, a lot of information has to be delivered to Cassandra and the reader, JoJo King uses a dream sequence to do so. This is a very standard way to solve such a problem, the way that JoJo King uses it neatly displays why it is a standard. Used as well as it is here it gives the room to deliver information without disrupting the flow on the story. Any issue should have enough self contained action to feel substantial in its own right and e able to use that action to propel the story forward, very easy to say, considerably harder to achieve. JoJo King has made it look remarkably easy and natural.
Chase Dunham's art is a pleasure to read, from static scences to frenzied action, the clarity and focus of the art is unvarying. The cast are given enough context form them to be physically grounded all the time, their body language is eloquent. A silent sequence of Cassandra and Nik travelling through the forest is a master class of managing time and compressing action to give the reader the sense of the journey without ever delaying them. The fact that the cast also reveal themselves a bit more in their responses to minor obstacles is just a measure of who well crafted a comic this is. The action sequences are fast and very violent, the details are very well judged, enough to make it have an impact, not enough to stop the story in its tracks with too much information. This is crucial for one particular encounter, it is both horrifying and restrained enough to make a point without revolting the reader.
Alex Giles letters are so easy to read that they just glide by, they never draw attention to themselves, except when they should, they give the entity inside Cassandra a extra edge and clearly mark the difference from the supernatural to the human. The sound effects are used with precision, they mark the moments with the emphasis they deserve.
SinEater 2 is a great comic, it takes the story in the general direction it should and in ways that are happily unexpected.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by JoJo King. To purchase a copy of SinEater 2, which would be a great way to treat yourself to the pleasure a really smart comic go to,  http://www.insanecomics.com/the-insane-comics--store.html

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