Comicsphere: Freakangels For Friday
It’s strange the last two weeks have seemed somewhat more leisurely in their pacing though just as much is revealed. We learn something of how being a Freakangel plays out through someone’s ethnicity — it was hinted at before in Caz’s features but is explained this week. Alice is both a catalyst and the reader’s representative in the story and it is nice to see her character integrating into the community. So far Ellis has really played well off of the preconceptions that you build just on an initial glimpse of someone, wrongfooting you one week as he lets out a little more rope the next week and shows you that none of these characters are going to be exactly what you think.
The art is magnificent — it really does make this particular apocalypse look like an OK place to live. London is an important character in the story — buildings playing a vital role in some of the activities that people are involved in. There have also been questions raised by the state of some of the buildings and the function of others have been points of interest. The future is mapped onto a recognisable present and uses that as much as the context of its own story to affect the reader. You see the Thames and you see certain landmarks and they make you smile and you settle in even deeper to the story.
I think what is hitting a lot of people (the wow factor) is the subtlety of the story telling and the art — those delicate touches that illuminate so much. This really is a great example of synergy between writer and artist — it is Ellis and Duffield at the top of their game. I don’t think that it’s people are surprised so much as it is that they are touched by what is obviously a labour of love. There is humour and humanity at the forefront and the big concepts which you can sense swimming around under the surface never impose too much to make anything seem unnatural or forced. Jack is a really nice addition to the cast and every time someone has been added to the mix it illuminates the others from a different angle.
It’s hard to believe this is trickling through in six page installments and it is also hard sometimes to believe that we are in the sixteenth week. Thus far it has been a real joy to read and it feels like we are all in safe hands — Ellis and Duffield aren’t going to rush this; thanks to Avatar they don’t need to. It is great that Avatar are making this possible — that in a world where companies are thought of as malevolent things that Avatar has the vision and guts to go ahead with something like this. Freakangels is going to be an important work in the future — that derives both from what it is doing with the format, what it represents as a business model, and what it is as a piece of art.