Graphic Novel Review – Enormous

 Imagine if you will a world like ours. A world where there is no pollution and no crowds. Sure it’s because most of the population has been killed off but that’s not a problem hey? Oh did I mention the massive mutated animals that roam the landscapes eating folk? Yeah probably not every ones holiday destination but it is the basis of the new graphic novel from Image.

Written by Tim Daniel (The Walking Dead Survival Guide) and artist Mehdi Cheggour (Heavy Metal) craft a post apocalyptic tale of a world with big beast and few people. First thing you notice about this book is its size! It’s about A3 size, and just the feel of it in your hands feels like you have more of an art book than a graphic novel. The artwork is absolutely stunning. The human characters leap off the page and because of the way the light behind them is coloured it gives almost a 3D effect to the book. The books colors are so vivid it’s almost like each scene has been framed like a classic Martial arts flick, with flowers floating in the air almost freeze framed. It’s difficult to describe how good this book looks. The creatures look great too. They are mutated versions of the animals we have knocking about planet Earth right now. Mutated crocs leap out and attack people while giant antelopes roam the empty plains. Even the plant life has changed, now it decides to use us as a food stock! The size of this book means the scope of it feels massive. Much like when widescreen DVDa were first introduced, or when you first visit an IMAX – it feels like standard comic size just does not cut it anymore. It shows that Mehdi has worked on Heavy Metal as this feels very much like a story from the said publication. This could also be down to Tim’s background in design. He has done numerous covers for books and magazines, and it’s obvious both of them have an understanding of the layout of a page and this knowledge is expressed all the way through this book. Massive two page spreads of animals fighting or just blank landscapes which really give a feel of the new environment. The writing is a mixed bag. I love the way the narrative switch’s from past and present constantly, slowly giving us the reader a view of what caused this event rather than bombarding us with loads of exposition. What I really like about this book is for the most part the new world looks loads better. The buildings are a wreck, but the world is lush with vegetation and animals frolic about all over the place. It makes you look at the way the world has been screwed up at the moment with pollution and it gives us a view of an untainted life. The end reveal is pretty cool, but not entirely unexpected. If you have seen as many post apocalyptic films as I have it really does not matter what caused it as it’s the characters your interested in. So the characters then. It’s tricky in these types of stories to makes the characters stand out among the chaos. Robert Kirkman is a master at this, his Walking Dead series is a text book example of how the need to survive and the characters interactions is the key to a good story. In this story we are thrown straight into the action and then sent on a roller coaster ride of a tale with the characters been thrown around all over the shop! This is great for us as it means we don’t get a break, stuff is constantly happening. This does however affect the characterisation. Most of the people are there to be killed off throughout the tale. There are only really three characters given any background and to be honest it’s thread bare at best. There is Ellen whose mum is eaten at the start and is an orphan saver. She is a rebel, will not take any grief, but has a heart of gold. Grainger a villain at the start who legs it with Ellen to try to help her out, and Coyle a wart headed nutter. Pretty standard character types for a post apocalypse tale and this is the only real negative of the book. You don’t really care what happens to anyone. I look at this book like a great action flick. It twists and turns and does not let up. Gorgeous art, amazing scenes of struggle, but sadly not a lot of story behind it. It’s a small complaint really as the book is still absolutely amazing to read and as long as you know what you are getting into what’s the harm in reading a bit of popcorn story telling?

4/5 Grizzlies…

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