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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ultra Minion. Lukasz Kowalczuk (Writer), Macie Czapiewski (Art) . WP Comics (2016)

A stunning and very enjoyable science fiction comic that matches clever , subtle writing with jaw dropping art. A mistake in an experiment turns a minion into Ultra Minion and he leads the rebellion against the overlord. The straightforward story line is delivered with tremendous attention to detail, humour and closely fought action. This is a silent comic, there is no narration nor do any of the cast speak, the weight of the story is carried by the art.
Macie Czapiewski majestic gray-scale art is a delight to read and to spend time on relishing the numerous captivating details. The cast are very diverse, from the opposing leaders through to the foot soldiers, there is a commonality among the groups, yet each cast member is an individual. This is crucial to the story where there is no other way to manage the cast than through expression and body language. The cast move with tremendous grace, the are fluid and muscular, they run, walk, fight and stand in their context with physical presence and force. The panel layouts control the pace of the story with assured confidence, insert panels pick out relevant details and are used for cleverly staged reveals.
The expressions on the cast are truly expressive, they catch and amplify the body language and provides all the information that the reader needs about the situation. The overlord who has a mask over its face is still conveys intent and emotion as loudly as if shouting, the Ultra Minion a bundle of energy and it is clear why he can rally his followers. The climatic confrontation between the two is a highlight of staging and pacing.
With such, rightfully dominant, art it would be easy to overlook the strength in depth of the writing. Lukasz Kowalczuk has made a fiercely difficult choice, without any words to guide the reader the story has to deliver all the information without being so simple that it fails to grip. The story line is a classic one, the way that it is structured is clever and subtle. The conflict is developed in unexpected and interesting ways. Critically the story never breaks it own internal rules, the actions are logical within the circumstances. The actions of the conflict develop with precision, the actions arise from the cast who in turn are influenced by the previous actions.
Ultra Minion is a wonderful comic, it exploits the possibilities of the medium with great confidence and skill. The unlimited budget of comic art is used to provide the detailed context for the conflict, the action is choreographed with precision and the unexpected keeps breaking out.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Kim Roberts. To buy a copy of Ultra Minion, you should give yourself the unalloyed pleasure of reading a great comic, it is available from http://www.wpcomicsltd.com/comics

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