• Matt Ligeti

FISSURE

Writer: Tim Daniel Art: Patricio Delpeche Publisher: Vault Comics

Fissure, Vol.1, cover, Vault Comics, Daniel/Delpeche

WHAT IS IT?

A disaster/suspense story about what tears us apart and what brings us together.


These might be two obscure references, but it's a lot like if the comic, Barrier, and the podcast, We're Alive, made a new, baby comic.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?

(Minor Spoilers)


El Sueño, Texas, is a border town seemingly split between its Latinx and Caucasian populations.


Avery Lee is a woman of Hispanic descent. She's currently pregnant with Hark's baby.


Hark is white, and heavily influenced by his father, who wants hark to have nothing to do with Avery Lee. There's definitely a Romeo & Juliet vibe of two warring families.


But when a crack opens in the earth in the middle of the town, and people start falling to their deaths and other strange things start happening, the survivors must forget about their differences and band together if they want to get through it unscathed.


WHAT WORKS?

  • At just under 100 pages, the story is approachable, and the narrative is tight.

  • If you haven't read any of the comics Tim has written or co-written, you're in for a treat. Fissure shows that Tim is one hell of a writer, and his talent doesn't stop at gorgeous comic design.

  • There's this recurring theme, stated over and over like a mantra: "We gotta take care of our own." It's ethnocentrism dolled-up in an illusion of caring for one another. It feels at home in the mouths of politicians who are only willing to send thoughts and prayers to people in need, but you see that same belief mouthed (mostly by the white men) by normal people in this comic.

  • Also very powerful is when Avery Lee connects herself to the pregnant white woman – it's not about differences in race or ethnicity, it's about our shared experiences, like motherhood, that matter even more.

  • Patricio Delpeche is a tour-de-force! Scenes play out cinematically, and it has the cadence of classic SyFy channel horror, though executed at a much higher level.

  • He (and probably Tim Daniel, too) puts so much thought to the use of white space to heighten a panel's effect, or the juxtaposition of events to subtly compare white jerks with their monsterized townsfolk counterparts.

  • There are also other scenes that work well from a dramatic sense and from a metaphorical one, like the powerful scene shown below.

  • Delpeche also gives great thought to panel design. In most scenes, panels are hard-edged, sometimes with figures or elements stretching beyond the borders, larger than life, building on that texture. The shapes of those panels can turn untraditional and asymmetric as action amps up.

  • Color palettes in every scene feel carefully curated, often limited for effect. The colors themselves are textured and look like pastel tones, which gives an earthy, chalky aesthetic that really works with the book’s themes.

  • It's a small thing, but there's a scene that's meant to show time passing. Delpeche keeps the timestamp in every panel to keep our attention on that time as it passes, which is much appreciated and keeps building the tension. So often, comics have too much space in between timestamps, you forget how much time has passed and lose the tension.

  • The hive-mind of the dreamers provokes so much inhuman terror in their otherwordly screams.

  • Deron Bennett sound effect work is big and bold and well-designed, often taking inspiration from the comic's logo.

  • Early in the book, a huge BLAM sound effect with bullet casing in front of it brings layers and texture to the art but also ensures you know exactly what happened. It's such a powerful punctuation to the scene that sets the tone for life in El Sueño.

  • Often the sound effects pull the art into each effect, then sets them against a white background for an effect like the whole scene takes place in that moment. Often, effects are large, so in the rare moment it’s small and delicate, you notice it and it's almost even more significant.

  • The way the book ends is such a giant middle finger to the walls between us, I love it.

  • The closing monologue works at face value, sure, but also as a commentary on what will happen if we don’t stop fighting over stupid, pointless things like race or ethnicity.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK?

  • Some cursing and horror elements make this not the best read for kids.

  • Because the story itself is under 100 pages, some readers may want more when they're paying full price for the trade paperback. That being said, there's some robust backmatter, including a cover gallery, some character designs, the logo evolution and more.


Fissure, Vol.1, page 24, Vault Comics, Daniel/Delpeche

WHY SHOULD I READ IT?

Fissure is a sci-fi horror comic that's both timeless and incredibly timely in a world where racism and ethnocentrism are so prevalent.


It might be one of Vault's early books, but you should definitely not miss it – it's a fantastic and important read!

WHAT DO I READ NEXT?

If you like the writing:

  • Curse by Moreci, Daniel, Rossmo & Lorimer

  • Barrier by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martín

  • Earworm by Rick Quinn, Milton Lawson, & Martyn Lorbiecki

If you like the art:

  • Heroine Chic by David Tischman & Audrey Mok

  • The Unsound by Cullen Bunn & Jack T. Cole

  • Prey for Us by Matt Garvey & J Francis Totti

ABOUT THE CREATORS

Tim Daniel – Writer

  • Multitalented: Also does all the design work for Vault Comics

  • Inspired by others in the business: Sonia Harris, Sean Phillips, and Fonographics

  • Dream Team: Co-wrote Curse and Burning Fields with Michael Moreci

Patricio Delpeche – Illustrator

  • Outlander: Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Multitalented: Also practices design and color work

  • Loves cats

Deron Bennett (AndWorld Design) – Letterer

  • Founded AndWorld Design, a lettering & design studio

  • Multitalented: Also wrote the comic, Quixote

  • Has a cool video where he talks about why he loves lettering

Adrian F. Wassel – Editor

  • Name Recognition: Is the CCO & Editor-In-Chief of Vault Comics, and plays the role of editor on most, if not all, of Vault's titles

  • Also runs Vault with his brother and father

  • Has personally helped other comics creators in their endeavors, even for non-Vault comics work

HOW DO I BUY IT?

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The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.

All Vault Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Vault Comics or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

#Vault #Outlander #Multitalented #NameRecognition #DreamTeam #SciFi #Survival #Horror #Bennett #Delpeche #Daniel #Wassel

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©2018 by Matt Ligeti the Comic Book Yeti.