Cartoonist: Rob Cham
Publisher: Anino comics
WHAT IS IT?
A lone adventurer befriends another on their way to find five gems.
Think the Warriors of Light from Final Fantasy if it was a duo instead of a quad, all in the art style that made Hollow Knight gorgeous and beloved (even though Light predates the game).
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Light is unique in a (mostly) comics-only manner: it's silent. The only actual dialogue is punctuation marks, which don't often occur.
Light regales us with a story about an adventurer who, following the death of their Grandfather, goes on a quest to gather five gems. During this silent comic, our nameless adventurer encounters another being and befriends them, explaining their reasons to gather said gems. The duo encounters a vast array of creators and habitats while they battle through life and death to claim the gems.
Throughout this wordless wonder, Cham takes our two adorable adventurers through colorful vistas filled to the brim with fascinating colors that more than make up for the hushed tale.
Cham portrays what Light is about on the cover alone by showing our main character, the action they are doing, and one of the detailed environments we will go through. Simple isn't the right word for it, as the cover art is detailed, but it previews what's inside in a smart, "simple" manner. Plus, it'll catch any kid's eye.
Although Light has no dialogue (except fewer than five punctuation marks) Cham is able to elegantly relay his story.
Light's story is easy to follow and can be read by just about any age with everyone able to find enjoyment out of it.
The plot of finding lost items scattered throughout the land, or being an adventurer in dangerous situations is nothing new, but the manner that Cham showcases it within Light makes those concepts fun and fresh.
Each page is a phenomenal piece of art that could easily be a desktop wallpaper.
Cham's art style is filled with love and charm while being really pleasant to look at.
In most cases, the "important" part of the page is contained towards the middle of the page to help guide the reader to what is "important."
Each character is designed to reflect their environment. This is reminiscent of (video) game design where the enemies reflect the level. We see this even in our main character's simple yet friendly design that's easy to follow and doesn't distract from anything surrounding them. This "blank" design helps the reader focus on them while juxtapositioning the vast, lush locations throughout.
Some of Light is portrayed in black-and-white due to story reasons, and the use of negative space during these moments works amazingly.
Although the black-and-white moments are spectacular, Cham's vivid color use really shines.
The bright, lively color palette brings the locales to life with each having its own gorgeous "theme."
The few lettered punctuation marks don't feel out of place, even if they are barely used. The word bubbles match the rest of the art quite well, making it feel organic.
After reading this tale you'll want to go back and play Zelda and other retro games.
Memorable Quote: "?" - Who knew a punctuation mark could do so much.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Some readers may not be a fan of a comic with no/little dialogue. Crazy, I know.
Not a slight on the comic itself, but reading this digital does not do it justice. This is because on a phone, it's too small, yet on a PC, the images can get blown out making them look low-quality (which may have only been our review copy and not the final product). With the way the pages are formatted, Light would read much easier as a Hardcover.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Cham took a chance with telling a story with his art only and it worked great, due entirely to his phenomenal artwork.
To tell a tale with minimal to no dialogue in itself is a feat, yet Cham was able to achieve brilliant storytelling on his art alone. That, in and of itself, should draw you to support and read Light.
However, further convincing; Light is a heartwarming, charming, silent adventure comic that is brimming with a world begging to be explored and characters (and a creator) that all will come to love.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Look by Rob Cham
The Mapmaker #1 by Ben Slabak, Francesca Carità, HdE
Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen
If you like the art:
Lost by Rob Cham
Äga And The Wyrm by Annemarie Rogers
Hollow Knight Chapter #1 by Team Cherry
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Rob Cham – Cartoonist (@Robcham)
Cham's first novel (Light) won Best Book in Graphic Literature (Silent) at the 35th National Book Awards
Has had many titles under his hat including: web designer, teacher, art director, and editor
Outlander: Currently Lives in the city of Manila
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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