Rating: 3/5 – Stealth Reprint That Lacks a Dimension.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
I was flipping though books at the comic shop the other day looking for something new to read and The Joyners stood out. It wasn’t a book that was on my radar, and flipping through it I really liked the art by David Marquez so I decided to pick it up. But in reading the issue something seemed a bit off and it was hard to put my finger on it.
Right off the bat writer R.J. Ryan uses one of my least favorite literary devices, the flash forward opening. I’d much rather have read the story not knowing what is ultimately going to end up happening to main character George Joyner. When I got to the end of the issue I felt a lack of satisfaction in the chunk of story I had been presented. The pacing just didn’t feel right. Then I did some research and it all started to make sense. The Joyners was originally presented as a Graphic Novel in 2014. It was, in fact, the first full-length original graphic novel done in anaglyph 3D. So there was something missing. An entire dimension was missing from the art, which apparently David Marquez labored on for 3 years to create and render in 3D. And the pacing issue I noticed? Well Ryan didn’t originally craft this story to be consumed in four 28-page installments, an OGN doesn’t need to have the same pacing as something that’s going to be consumed in 4 issues.
The Joyners, at least the chunk presented in this issue, was equal parts family drama, introspection by the lead character, and scientific discovery (and I can see where the third dimension could add some really cool elements to the story). What I really did not appreciate here was that Archaia had ZERO indication in this comic book that it was not original material. It has a 2016 copyright and no mention whatsoever that it was originally presented as a graphic novel in 2014. True, there is a new dimension to what is presented here with the lack of 3D and addition of color, which may account for the new copyright, but personally, I find this misleading on the part of the publisher to not note that this was originally published in another form and do not appreciate it. I guess I need to do an internet search before buying any of their series that are unfamiliar to me to double check to see if they have been published before. I enjoyed what I read of the story but I won’t be back for any more issues of this limited series. Instead I’ll be looking for The Joyners in 3D OGN and read it how it was originally intended to be experienced.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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