Monday, 18 January 2010

Ken Recommends: Sky Doll

So here we are again, this week we have another Graphic Novel (I promise they all won't be, honest) by the title of "Sky Doll" created by Italian writer and artists Barbara Canepa and Alessandro Barbucci. This first book in the series was published by Marvel Comics as a part of their Soleil line of comics, branching out from the trend of super hero comics and publishing European comics of an exceptional quality. The very world in which Sky Doll is set is full of wonder and unique designs ranging from the buildings and props to the characters themselves, the style in which it is drawn is very expersionate and no one look is exactly the same, this most likely comes from the creators using their experience of working under The Walt Disney Company and it really shows especially when characters interact with each other, there's so much expression going on it's a joy just to look at let alone read. The art style also has a great amount of sexuality to it but it's done very tastefully and as you read more it becomes more intergrated with the world you're experiencing. Colouring is also very appealing due to it's soft tones and subtle shades make for a nice change to other comics. With that out the way lets get on with reviewing the story!

There are three main characters, Noa the Skydoll, a robotic humanoid who's purpose is to serve her master's wishes, but she's not like other Skydolls as I'm sure you'd find out as you read the story. Next is Roy, your average joe archetype who with his friend Jahu, a brash and strong headed fellow, are on a diplomatic mission to a "heretic" world to try convert them to their home planet's religious beliefs. Each character is unique in that they are very much themselves and are written in such a way that they're very believeable. The world they come from is very much steeped in religious belief with Ludovica the current head constantly trying to erase all memory of her former sister hom people used to and still do follow, it is a world where church and state are one in the same. Through a series complications Noa winds up joining Roy and Jahu on their mission eager to find a a new place to live whilst questioning her ultimate purpose, is she just a toy for people to play with or something more? As the story develops everything boils over into a climatic end fitting for this stories arc and definetly more than satisfying, it's truly an exciting read!

Whilst the story is a sci-fi based one it's not purely for fans of the genre and can be enjoyed by those who appreciate good narrative and interesting characters. There is a lot to be discovered within the world you're introduced to such as it's lifestlye, aesthetics and religious goverment, this adds to the whole experience of the book.

What brought my interest to this book was the art work so I also recommend it for animators and comic artists a like as it's a great representation of what can be done in either medium, for further reading Marvel has published a two issue series "Sky Doll: Doll's Factory" which is a making of Sky Doll, think of it as the extras disc to the main feature. It's full of interviews, design sketches, the first full issue in pencils (preview to the left) and fan art created by other european artists. If after you read Sky Doll and loved it I highly recommend hunting these two issues down. Overall this is a book that should be read by those looking for something a little different when it comes to comics as it truly is an effort to create an amazing narrative.

Sky Doll vol. 1 is avalible now in both Hardback and Paperback starting from £14.99
Sky Doll: Space Ship, the new series starts this year!
(Date to be comfirmed)

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