R-Squared #4

Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2004
By: Steve Saville

Cover of R-Squared #4

Creator: Alverne Ball (w) and Cliff Cobb (a)
Publisher: Quality Quill (Self Published)
Address: 4639 N Dainen, Chicago, IL , 606035, USA.
Price: $2(US)

Nice art, good storyline shame about the production.

R –Squared 4 is ultimately a frustrating read. The finer details of the distinctive art- work are often blurred or lost due to the poor quality of the final printing. Many of the frames are just too light and this creates an unfortunate patchy feel. As a result I am left with the feeling that I have been denied the opportunity to really appreciate this comic. And make no mistake about it the art- work deserves to be appreciated. It manages to remain realistic yet “ cartoonish” at the same time. The use of oblique angle in some of the frames works well and the page layout is often very effective. In particular the portrayl of the surprised expression by the main character is one that is extremely well rendered.

A personal highlight for me is the opening three pages. The picture of the smarmy presidential candidate in the two page- opening frame is delightful. His inane grin bordered by the frowns of his goons says so much about the political world it satirises. In the same way page 3 with its talking head reporters effectively pokes fun at the nature of modern television reporting. All in all a very promising opening.

Another feature of this edition is the dialogue. Alverne has an obvious ear for contemporary "patter" and gives her characters distinctive and believable "voices". At times this provides a source of humour, as in the conversation between the two Negro soldiers. A final proof read could have eliminated the occasional spelling error though.

As in previous editions the action sequences are well drawn and dynamic. It is good to see the overuse of onomatopoeia here. Sometimes this is just wrong but here it is handled with skill and therefore adds to the violence. The storyline moves along at a good pace without moving too fast, so a potential problem that plagues many small press action adventure comics is avoided. The hanging ending is well constructed and leaves the reader keenly awaiting number 5. The second section of this comic contains an inticing preview of Geddeon which reveals the creators Christian interest.

Quality Quill is turning out a nice comic and one that deserves to do well, now about that printing quality.

In a Word: Faded

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