Random Journeys #2

Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2007
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Random Journeys #2 Creator(s): Rob Jackson
Publishers: Self Published
From: 6PS
Price: 1.50

In a review of ‘Random Journeys #1’ printed on this site Darren, the reviewer, found the comic to be a “fun mix of fiction and fun” and a comic that “surprises and entertains.” Now, whilst I would not disagree with those sentiments I may be a little more reserved in my enthusiasm when it comes to reviewing #2.

What we are presented with here are three self contained tales and the second instalment of the story that gives this comic its title.

I will start with the ongoing storyline since that accounts for about half of the total pages in this volume. This is indeed a story about journeys, centred on an archaeological dig, and it certainly is random even tangential in its narrative focus. For example we have an invasion of Amazonian army shrews confronting the characters shortly after they escape from what seems to be a pyramid type structure set in what looks like an English forest. There is a plot but it often seems to be of secondary importance to witticisms and interludes. In fact the plot and the dialogue could both do with a bit of careful editing and tightening as I found the journey threatened to become just a little too random, but I guess that is the stated intention of Jackson so it may well be that he is just managing to achieve precisely what he intends. As for me I just found my attention starting to drift. The problem is that the storyline really needs to be very tight because the art work is fairly scratchy and simplistic and not sufficiently dynamic or memorable to carry a loose narrative.

Of the other stories the final one pager is the most memorable. A clever look at computer generated frustration.

“The Swirling Vortex of Doom” starts off with the best art on display here with a very clever employment of a wide range of angles as an oil rig does battle with a vortex but this wordless tale quickly lurches towards the bizarre and I got a little lost.

"Cheap Neon Lights" has a nice spin on the realities of isolation in outer space and is an enjoyable read.

Overall then, it is obvious that Jackson is having fun, this volume is neither deep nor artistically mind blowing but it is fun. Jackson just seems to love doing comics and it is this enthusiasm that shines through and it is this enthusiasm that will ensure we are presented with more journeys from random Rob in the near future.

In a Word: Randomesque.

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