July 17, 2014

"Death rides on the wind!"
Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Ríos, Jordie Bellaire & Clayton Cowles
Image Comics, 2014
120 pages, cmyk, digital

Can love triumph over death? Apparently not, according to Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Ríos and Jordie Bellaire's Pretty Deadly. 
Pretty Deadly is an unorthodox story about love and loss, a mix between fairytale and western.
The book begins with "Bunny" and "Butterfly", two animals (Bunny is an animated skeleton) that are our narrators. They are about to tell us a story.
So, Ginny is the daughter of Death and a woman whose beauty - more precisely, the stupidity and covetousness of men - was her downfall. We learn about her through Sissy, a young girl with different colored eyes that is being hunted down by unknown forces for unknown reasons. She is the companion of Fox, a blind man who protects her from said forces.
Eventually, things unravel, each character plays its part and the story ends. I may be oversimplifying it but, essentially that is it.
Simple things can be multilayered and nuanced, DeConnick is a good writer and has a great grasp on dialogue. Character development could be better but we have an idea of each of their motivations and roles, more archetypal than one-dimensional.
Alegory is very strong in the book, "Bunny" and "Butterfly" are the better example of it, their real identity is unveiled at the end of the book but still leaving some mistery to it.
Plotwise I feel that the story could have been stretched out a bit more, building up more tension, making the ending feel a bit less rushed and more satisfying.
Emma Ríos' is the only penciler for this book, her long, thin but strong lines bring the right feeling to the action and characters. The only negative aspect that I can point out has to do with the smaller panels in the fighting scenes, that are there to give more detail but end up cluttering the image, making it harder to follow.
Jordie Bellaire's colors are what they always are: an essential part of the reading experience. As I have said before, colorists are on the rise and it's amazing to see that they can change their style depending on the theme and feeling of a book.
When this book was first published as a "floppy", there was some controversy, supposedly because of the almost entirely female creative team but mainly because of the stupidity and covetousness of men.
If you like hard hitting tales with strong female characters, this is your book.

4 comentários:

  1. Tens em floppy? As capas são bem bonitas também.

  2. Não, por acaso não tenho. Um amigo meu tem. Gosto muito do desenho da Emma Ríos e acho que é uma excelente ilustradora e vive aqui pertinho: é galega.

  3. Então já viste que tem desenho na parte detrás também. Sim a Ríos e a Bellaire fazem um trabalho líndissimo. Também gostei da história e da opção pelo western. é uma introdução que cumpre, vamos ver o que a autora tem em mente para o futuro.

    Desconhecia era a controvérsia. Devia-se ler mais e queixar menos

  4. As capas estão incluídas no início de cada "capítulo". Estas tretas de fanboys (e não só) misóginos são cada vez mais notícia. Basta ir ao The Beat (comicsbeat.com) num dia qualquer e encontramos mais uma.