2011 Abstract Studios
This will be a bit of a short post. One because I am tired. Mostly because the first Issue of Rachel Rising was a very quick read. Saying read makes it sound like there is a lot of words. There isnt. A few dozen at best, and no, I am not going to be the counting pedant here. This book took all of 5 minutes to read. I have always been of the opinion that first issue should be as big as they need to be in order to grab the reader and make them want to by the next issue. Most need to be what most of us would call “double sized”, and I have no quarrel with these books. If it takes 30 to 40 pages to hook me, it is not necessarily a failing of the book in any way, I may just not be as receptive to the thing for whatever reason. A book that can do it in a mere 19 pages is something special, particularly when the 19 pages in question are so sparing with the words. This is the first #1 I have picked up and liked all year. This is not counting books I have “trade waited” for as they have an advantage in that you get a more complete picture or the entire thing in the trade rather than having to wait for a small floppy every month. This book had me by page 6, when we first see Rachel’s face coming up out of her shallow grave. Flashes of her memory that appear to be the silhouette of her killer in the act that puts her in the ground interspersed with a surprisingly effective series of panels of her rising from below ground. They are disturbing. The images are subtly telling us that this act is as hard and unpleasant as you would think it should be. You feel for this girl almost immediately and want to know more. Now. That is one of the great gifts Terry Moore has always brought to the books he does. You love the people in them. Not just characters, they are fully realized, or seemingly so, the moment you meet them. There is more to learn, but you feel comfortable with them very quickly.
The art here is everything that you would expect from Moore. Rich and satisfying, even in a flat black and while. Like with Echo and Strangers in Paradise, there is linework, but not lots in the way of shading or values. Not a lot of grey here. My only issue with the art is that, as with Echo, I think that separating the supporting cast visually can be a challenge. I am not sure if I was supposed to think the woman “watching” Rachel rise is supposed to be another character, or Rachel herself. That small thing aside, I really want more. So much so that I will not trade wait for this. Floppies for me.
Now go buy the book! If you like any of the other Moore works, or just like smart storytelling, this is a can’t miss.