(Image Comics, 2014)
Written by Joe Keatinge
Art by Leila Del Duca
Colors by Owen Gieni
Letters by Ed Brisson
I begged and pleaded, and despite the combined weight of my many Twitter followers and urgent calls from my aged grandmother, Image went ahead with their proposed release date and made me wait a whole month for issue #2 of Shutter.
The premiere left me feeling ready for more…a feeling that many first issues do. How do you sustain that for a whole month? Is it possible to jump into issue 2 without loss of the carefully constructed momentum that was built? I supposed that is the conundrum of every serial writer. Joe Keatinge (Glory, Hell Yeah) does it in exactly the right way.
Kate Kristopher spent the first part of her life bouncing around the planet, adventuring with her father, taking award-winning photographs, a life that most people would dream of having. On the day of her twenty-seventh birthday she’s at an impasse. What is left? After walking on the moon, fighting tentacled beasties in the jungle, and generally having a raucous good time, normal, everyday life seems to have little appeal. Until she is accosted at the foot of her father’s grave by all manner of mechanical and spirituous bounty hunters, ready and willing to take her captive. Thus ended issue one. How do you top that?
Perhaps we’ll put in a giant chicken. How about a bevy of leonine gangsters? And then…maybe just to change things up a little, we’ll add something really creepy near the end?
Bravo Mr. Keatinge. Issue number two has surpassed number one. It is a success because he is continually upping the ante and at the same time is showing us other glimpses of Kate’s background, including the complicated relationship with her father. This is a beautiful, no-limits world. If Keatinge wants to have spectral ninjas…then yes…spectral ninjas it is. And let’s make ‘em purple.
Leila Del Duca made her debut in Shutter #1. She shows consistent, beautiful work, a style that is just far enough away from “traditional”, glossy-type comic illustration that it’s engaging. These panels look more like book illustrations, something that would come at the top of chapter headings in a book or as a single page splash in the middle of a chapter. Owen Gieni’s colors are muted so that they look more like a colored pencil than ink, but I like that in this book. It adds to the unique style of the art, something that might be lost with traditional inks. And that creepy part near the end is only intensified by Del Duca’s crazy design for the…(no spoilers folks!)…thing that is creepy. (I’ll only say that it is punctuated by the sound “BLURRTCHK”. Use your imagination, or better yet, buy the comic and see for yourself.)
Shutter #2 is a fast second chapter, too fast for some, and now I’m back to waiting, waiting, waiting for issue #3. Mr. Keatinge, Ms. Del Duca, Mr. Image, you’ll be receiving pestering calls from my grandmother.
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.