Writer: John Arcudi
Artist: James Harren
Publisher: Image Comics
This series started being published towards the end of 2012.
This comic proves that we are living through a second golden age in publishing in the media.
And with quality titles of this nature, Image has made a fanboy out of me.
I really feel that the company is being smart about its offerings delivering a mixed bag of guys in long-johns and more mature and non-superhero titles, for the rest of us who are a bit tired of the genre.
I’ve only reached issued 4, so the story is still in progress, but so far you can enjoy a tale of supernatural thrills and chills mixed with action. Something a la Bleach, but with westernized taste.
The story is not the most brilliant, original and unique. Keep in mind that making these points is not to take away from the writing. It is just that, in some manner or another, I’ve read about it before. But it still should be held in high regard. John Arcudi’s writing is strong in many aspects, such as setting the mood, giving the characters individual voices, pacing the action, creating a mythos, all aspects of the art of storytelling that he handles in a masterful way.
Maybe I am a bit jaded because I can find elements that permeate the whole story on other comics from other countries. Off the cuff come to mind many manga, such as the above mentioned Bleach by Tite Kubo, and myriad of others, such as Ao No Exorcist by Katou Kazue.
But that shouldn’t deter you at all from picking this up, because after all, there is nothing new under the sun.
Where I felt captivated, enthralled and totally riveted, was when I saw the art of James Harrem used to push the story forth.
James Harrem drink from over-stylized influences, but he doesn’t use stylization as a shortcut to render breath-taking art.
He complies with ease and brilliancy one of the tenets of graphic storytelling that is place the characters in a believable surrounding. Something where most beginners fail, being focused on the characters and render the muscle and the postures right.
Check out these small examples of James Harrem’s amazing city, where the action of Rumble takes place.
These are simple panels on the second page of the first issue (or maybe the third page, don’t recall)
They are treated like mini-splash pages, and they are just panels.
This is something I haven’t appreciated to this degree in a very very long time.
Seeing this type of care, love, attention to detail, to create an environment brought me back to the days when I first encountered the first Spirit from Warren (back in the 1970’s) and fell in love with his later work of creating a city where Deny Colt, Sand Saref and the rest rambled free.
Back in the 40’s and early 50s’ the now deceased Master Will Eisner showed us how to set the characters in an environment where the surrounding is as important as the characters and the story.
I really haven’t enjoyed such a stylized, but at the same time realistic rendering of the environment, while placing the characters in the story giving them weight and shadows, and having them define a space.
This ends up producing amazing artwork the likes I haven’t enjoyed in a long time.
OK, the story in enjoyable through and through, but as you can surmise here I loved this book for the art primarily. By issue 3 we are presented with a developing story about arcane gods and titan-like entities, who have battles ala lord of the rings and other mythical stuff galore, that get a very decent treatment.
I want to keep this on top of my read list, so I will be following up on this title.
Let me know what you think
In my critic’s rating I give Rumble by John Arcudi and James Harren