Writer: Curtis Clow
Illustrator: Pius Bak
Letterer: Toben Racicot
Publisher: Self-Published (Kickstarter)
WHAT IS IT?
The opening issue of a treasure hunting adventure comic, starring a terminally ill thief in a world where the sky is the sea and religious law rules.
Imagine if Studio Ghibli decided their next project was a reimagining of Tomb Raider set in a dieselpunk universe.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Mia is a self-proclaimed archaeologist that has a few weeks left to live. Determined to leave a mark on the world, Mia goes on a spree of excavations focusing on religious artifacts. When claiming a fourteenth artifact in as many weeks, her efficiency lands her in hot water with a couple of religious disciples who see her exploits not as archaeology, but as thievery.
After getting caught shortly after her latest excavation, Mia finds herself in the middle of a fight between two religions for the latest artifact she stole.
Stuck in a cage and helpless to defend herself, will she survive the merciless violence of her pursuers?
Curtis Clow creates a unique world and fills it with interesting characters while throwing in a healthy dose of action.
Pius Bak’s style and technical ability would put Slight Exaggerated right at home on a shelf of Image Comics titles.
Toben Racicot is one of the few examples in Kickstarter comics where the lettering is truly elevated to an art in itself.
Mia is a compelling addition to the field of archaeologist thieves, mixing brashness with existentialism.
The action is smooth, well-directed and every motion has weight behind it.
Dialogue shifts from lighthearted banter to philosophical musings while always keeping with the beat of the narrative.
Bak’s use of bright pastel colours really catches the eye and helps emphasise the fantastical nature of the world.
The sound effects are particularly charming, often using words themselves instead of onomatopoeic interpretations; examples include throw, bite and itch.
Almost every sound effect is given a font and stylistic placing to integrate it more into the scene. It means they come across so much more naturally as a visual representation of sounds.
A stand-out of this comic is how it showcases some of the best examples of world-building in a comic; a broken moon in the night sky is never focused on, but it makes you wonder what happened.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Although Mia is the protagonist, beyond her illness and nihilistic philosophy, there isn’t much characterization.
There is a nude scene that tries to add character depth but ultimately feels like empty fan-service titillation.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Slightly Exaggerated puts a lot of weight behind the thematic musings of legacy and it wraps it up in one of the most sublime displays of art and colour to be found across the entire indie scene. Those looking for a romp through the skies of a fantasy world, you have come to the right place.
I believe Clow and Bak are beginning to lay down their own legacy in the indie comics industry. With a stunning artistic style set in a fantasy world that is a breath of fresh air, the groundwork is here for a truly spectacular run of issues.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Click one of these:
Kickstarter exclusive; follow Curtis Clow on Twitter @curtisclow for more info.
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 Curtis Clow and Pius Bak characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Curtis Clow and Pius Bak or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED