The Asgardian Trade Commission 6/27/10

Posted on June 27, 2010. Filed under: Reviews |

By Erik Lewis, Lead Blogger

Welcome back to the Asgardian Trade Commission!  Today, we have a special treat: I received an advance copy of Archaia Comics’ upcoming graphic novel, Syndrome.  Without anything further, let’s get right into it!


Archaia Black Label, $19.95

Blake Leibel, Daniel Quantz, R.J. Ryan, David Marquez

Available through Archaia’s website soon and available for preorder on Amazon

On the Archaia Comics website, they announce Syndrome as “The Truman Show meets Se7en,” which is actually a fairly decent description.  Syndrome definitely has an interesting concept, and upon reading the premise, it becomes clear that it has great potential, if the writer can pull it off properly.  I have to admit, I wasn’t too sure going in what to expect.  I’m happy to report, however, that Quantz and Ryan do a fantastic job.

To start off with, they throw you right into story, which can be disoriented, if it’s not backed up properly.  There have to be threads to follow, characters to interest you and keep you moving through the story while you grasp at the ideas that are presented, both of which are presented in spades in Syndrome.

The basic idea behind Syndrome is the idea that evil is not a character trait or an inherent aspect of humanity, but something more of a disease, something that can be cured.  The book essentially tells the story of the doctor who’s trying to cure it, the naive actress who helps him, and the Hollywood Director he enlists to help him craft his image.

To the credit of the book, it only took me about 20 pages to get hooked by the story.  The build and the pacing to finding out the story and what was really going on were just right.  I only have a few minor problems with the project as a whole.  To start, the art is fantastic, and there’s a supplement at the back that has the artist discussing discussing the process and benefits of doing entirely digital art, as well as the downfalls of the process.  One of the things that he mentions is that with the use of the zoom tool, an artist can fall into the trap of adding more detail than is absolutely necessary, and I can see where that happened in this.  There’s a reliance on shadows and lines where they’re not strictly necessary.  That said, the artist manages a beautifully rendered gathering of settings and characters, even with falling into the aforementioned trap.

The other issue I have is that while the core of the story is very intriguing, and a great premise, it seems to me that almost a quarter of it feels a bit unnecessary, and what I’m talking about specifically is the part with the Director.  I can understand how it’s important to explaining the setting of most of the events, I feel like it probably could have been handled differently, and it’s certainly not necessary to have him have some of the personality quirks that are revealed throughout his story, especially when they’re not strictly necessary for the story to come out like it does.

Even taking all of that into account, Syndrome is definitely an interesting read, well worth the cover price, and something you should be keeping an eye out for.  Syndrome has earned every beard.

Volstagg’s Beard 4/5

And that’s all for trades this week.  Come back next week for another.  Got a suggestion for something I should read?  Drop me a line in the comments!

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2 Responses to “The Asgardian Trade Commission 6/27/10”

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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by David Marquez, Erik Lewis. Erik Lewis said: A preview of upcoming Archaia Comics OGN, Syndrome: The Asgardian Trade Commission 6/27/10: […]

That sounds like a pretty cool concept.

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