Comic Book Review: ODY-C by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward

ODY-C, Vol. 1: Off to Far IthicaaODY-C, Vol. 1: Off to Far Ithicaa

by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There’s something to be applauded for the risks taken to create this comic, had they been successful would have been an amazing experience.

As someone who has read the Odyssey many many times, I was just barely able to grasp the underlying plot. The story is told with a weird combination in what could be assumed an interpretation of epic poetry and psychedelic art.

The poetry is stilted, and does nothing to express the art or the story…and would be absolute gibberish without it. I can only assume that this heralds from the authors own misunderstanding of the source text.

The art is trippy and confusing. At times amazing and mind-blowing and at others poorly realized and messy. There were several times when I caught myself wondering how the colorist felt having to cover up desperately poor proportions and expressed movement.

For the concept and the colour, I give this comic 2 stars… But overall, I don’t recommend it.

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Non-Fiction Review: Pop Manga Coloring Book / Camilla d’Errico

Pop Manga Coloring Book: A Surreal Journey Through a Cute, Curious, Bizarre, and Beautiful WorldPop Manga Coloring Book: A Surreal Journey Through a Cute, Curious, Bizarre, and Beautiful World

by Camilla d’Errico

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would say that I would be interested in colouring about 75% of the pictures in this colouring book. Some of the images are so stunning. The children are so beautiful or cute, and the merging with animals is often so intriguing. Most pages include a highly detailed and somewhat surreal image of a young child placed in the center of the page with large white space as the background.

There are some unfortunate illustrations that were obviously copied from pencil drawings, or draft sketches. These are either not well realized as images, or just plain difficult to colour without the ability to erase line. The only way to move past this would be to use non-conventional colouring materials like acrylic paints. Whereas coloured pencils and crayon would be the preferred materials.

Camilla d’Errico’s style is more loose and sketchy, and for some images you can tell she’s tried to use the full space by adding backgrounds. Either strawberries, or geometric shapes. These are incredibly unfortunate as the art style or materials used are in competition of what she usually does. It is nice to have something in the background to colour, but d’Errico’s style is not one to fill the page. It would have been better to just do what she does rather than try to make it more “colouring-book”-like.

But, despite the problem with her backgrounds, and some poor choices, I would still say about 75% of the book is beautiful and I would be thrilled to spend time colouring in it. In an age when “adult” colouring books are all the rage, it’s nice to see something that fits somewhere between colouring for kids and the train-wreck that is most of adult colouring books who are trying to cash in on the craze.

This would be a great title for teens, or fans of Camilla d’Errico’s comic book series.

I received a digital copy from NetGalley for an honest review.