Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Naivety Incarnate

Today's comic, Naivety Incarnate, is a beautiful example of what a dramatic comic can be. Touching, culturally relevant, and instantly relatable it raises the genre far beyond the exaggerated teen soap operas often found online. Learning that the comic is written strip by strip only added to my admiration of the writing, there's nothing that suggests the comic is flying by the seat of the creator's pants - likely due to the fact that the comic is based loosely on the author's own childhood.

The archive is by no means insurmountable by this point, I read through them in one sitting, but the story is far enough along to draw you in. The plot unfolds through the eyes of Antonio, a young student in a new school, as he navigates through the uncertain waters of a dysfunctional family and intolerant society. The comic in no way feels heavy, however - touched as it is by Antonio's innocence.

The artwork is realistic, and the expressions carry the emotion of each scene well. Most strips are in full color, though occasionally blue-grey tones are used to create a sense of evening hush. Presented in comic page format, the pacing is controlled nicely in both writing and with panel presentation. We're occasionally reminded that some dialogue is translated from Spanish, but as it's indicated by " < framing > " I don't think such reminders are necessary and seem to pull the reader away from the story a bit. Backgrounds are well integrated and show a good understanding of perspective and depth.

Over all, Naivety Incarnate is one of the best dramatic comics I've come across. I look forward to watching it develop and hope there will be a book in the works