Rating: 5/5 – Colors Fill the Artistic Lines and Story Foundation.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Color plays such an important role in some comic books. The interiors of comics used to be full of plain colored backgrounds and characters due to the limitations imposed by printing, technology and time. While we still see limited colors in some comics, in others, like Ei8ht, we’re seeing colorists having just as much an impact on how I feel about a boot as the art itself. As much as the art is critiqued, so too are the colors that bring the art to life. In Dark Horse’s Ei8ht, Rafael Albuquerque incorporates color into the story in a way that helps define the book, becoming part of the storytelling process itself. Ei8ht is the start of a brand new limited series that’s a must read for brilliant and creative use of color, for the art, and for the story.
On the interior cover we see four thick horizontal colors with writing across each one. “The Past is Green”, “The Present is Purple” and so on. Those colors define the different time periods and locations within the story so caption boxes are never needed to guide the reader along. That small artistic choice gives the reader a greater sense of understanding without ever having to be specific, making me feel more engrossed in the story. We see two colors represented so far as Albuquerque’s handles both the art and coloring making Ei8ht what I think is one of the best looking books to come out this month. Albuquerque’s thin and kinetic lines excited me throughout this strong debut issue.
Ei8ht is a story dealing with time travel. Chrononaut Joshua is taking a trip back in time, but we’re not sure as to the why just yet. We come to understand that time travel has an effect on your mind and memories and as Joshua awakes after his trip from the future, he’s lost without the recollection of why or where he is. Ei8ht doesn’t give all the answers and like Joshua, I was left having to discover what’s happening as danger lurked all around. Rafael Albuquerque and co-writer Mike Johnson did a fantastic job of connecting me with the main character, giving me the sense of embarking on this journey through time and space with Joshua.
Dark Horse seems to have a hit on their hands with this new science fiction/time travel series. Not only is the art and writing top notch, but the use of color to define the overall look and structure of the book is a creative tool that’s used to perfection. For me, Ei8ht may be my favorite new series of 2015 and I can’t wait to see what comes next. Ei8ht feels original and unique as colors not only fill in the beautiful lines, but also play a foundational role in the storytelling.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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