Often with new comic book writer’s and artists, their first issue is an experiment. A test to see how well the team works together and how well the writer’s vision translates in the artist’s work. The writer must adapt normal storytelling to the comic format and sometimes that means the first issue can become overloaded with words
I’m happy to report that is not the case with Jess Cate’s “Heart of Millyera”. The opening pages trade lengthy word bubbles for appropriate art that has the reader in suspense. You will be grasping the early situation through the pictures instead of the words around them.
Set in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, three geology students and friends- Ida, Gilbert and Celeste go on an assignment trip to a lake that had flooded a town thirty years ago. Their hope is that deep down within the lake lays treasure worthy of a good grade and recognition.
Ida and Gil (Gilbert) put on a pair of custom diving suits (that Gil made) and venture deep into the lake, while Celeste stays up on land in case anything happens to goes wrong.
What Ida finds down below will obviously set up the basis for the upcoming story.
The art by Jana is warm and yet understated. There are a few pages that reveal bits of humour without dialogue at all. Every panel has a reason to be there and I was actually surprised with how much had happened in just a few pages and yet it never felt rushed. The art’s tone properly compliments Jess’s story and leaves us excited and intrigued about the events that could follow.
Though the beginning hints at darker things to come, this comic had a few funny moments throughout. There is good chemistry between the three main characters and their ‘back and forth’ made each interaction very entertaining.
This may just be a prelude, but there is so much hinted and teased that it’s no wonder Jess and Jana had a successful Kickstarter with this title.
Congratulations to them both! This comic deserves the praise it has been getting. I can’t wait to read more!