Release Date: 4/9/14
Words: Joe Keatinge
Pictures: Leila Del Duca
Image does it again with Shutter, another indie comic offering with great potential this week. The back page reads, “Story so far: You’re holding the very first issue. There is no story ‘so far’, but the gist is Kate Kristopher was raised to be the world’s greatest explorer and was until she didn’t want to be anymore. Shutter is what happens next.” It’s a pretty simplistic description for a book with so much going on. Shutter sort of happens in media res, introducing our reluctant heroine Kate Kristopher, daughter of a master adventurer, who grew up used to the fame and fortune of an adventurous charmed life exploring strange places and encountering strange creatures. Presently she spends a lot of time on her own in a world familiar, yet very different, from our own. Along with her camera and trained eye she makes a less exciting living, but that doesn’t mean her life isn’t any less spectacular.
I’m a sucker for good urban fantasy and Shutter is pretty fantastical. Keatinge sows the seeds to an intriguing story centering on a character immediately compelling. The first pages showing Kate’s childhood, a 7th birthday spent bored on the moon, reminds me a little of a Wes Anderson movie, beautiful aesthetically and subtly packed with feels and heart. A very interesting story is teased in this first issue, full of wonderful things and dark secrets.
A lot of this world works because of Del Duca’s art. Her world building is beautiful to behold. This is one of those books to spend a lot of time lingering on. No space is wasted. The very first page catches the eye with a moonscape. The next four pages, my favorites, show three panels each, the top and bottom panels continue the story while the middle panels show the book’s credits over environmental detail of the Kristopher family portraits on the walls of their home. That’s a lot of story info given effortlessly through pictures. After that it’s just a feast for the eyes. Kate’s world immerses the reader into the story in such a way that I was left excited to see more. My only complaint is that the ending was too abrupt and I could have used just a few more pages to hold me over until issue #2.
I’m beginning to feel a bit of a bias with Image comics, like maybe it’s just not fair for me to review Image books without objectivity. Eh. I’ll get over it because these are the stories that continue to feed my addiction for the medium.