Sand Storm #1

Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2007
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Sand Storm #1 Writer(s): Keith Lovely
Artist(s): Rashida Lewis
Publishers: Newave Comics
From: USA
Price: US$ 2.99

‘Sand Storm #1’ is the first part of a five part mini series set in ancient Egypt. The main character is the Princess/Queen Anumari a stroppy, feisty young royal dressed in what can only be described as a very contemporary outfit. Her appearance is very much a case of ‘sexing up’ this time long past.

Anumari is an athletic, intelligent, determined, strong willed young woman who is not averse to lopping off the head of anyone who opposes her.

This full colour comic is certainly visually sharp. The heavy use of yellows and golds successfully recreates the hot sandy setting in the mind and eye of the reader. The contrast offered by using a blue, almost washed effect, for the flashback scenes is one of the comics more memorable visual techniques.

It looks like the artist, Rashida Lewis, has a background in, or is at least heavily influenced by, an artistic style based on modern animation. This in part would explain the large number of frames in this first edition that concentrate on capturing the feeling of rapid movement. There is definitely a feeling of action and movement about each and every page in this comic. As this comic is primarily aimed at a young adult audience all of this is entirely appropriate and so the comment that the first part of ‘Sand Storm’ tends to be heavy on action and light in depth is not intended as a criticism.

Initially the first two pages are a little confusing as the main players are introduced to us fairly quickly and the action explodes before we have had a chance to really consolidate on the characters and their relationships. This is a temporary glitch however and everything quickly falls into place.

The one thing that ‘Sand Storm’ could not be accused off and that is that is that it is overcrowded as we are often presented with four or less frames per A4 page. This means that there is plenty of room for the frames to breathe but that there is not a tremendous amount of narrative development in the 15 pages. Having said this and having also said that there is a good deal of fighting/ action sequences here, I must also add that the dialogue that has been employed is well written, effective and makes a perfect compliment to the visuals. It is obvious that care has been taken in the editing process.

Overall though this is a great looking comic and the computer enhanced features utilised enhance this aesthetic. It will appeal to young adult comic readers used to the narrative structure of modern animation programmes and as such will no doubt become a popular title.

In a Word: Hot.

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