We don’t always do the right thing, and sometimes our actions end up hurting a lot of people. If there is a chance at redemption, and it all hinges on living in the afterlife differently, would you go for it? That’s the question Will Musil will find out in A Skeleton Story.
A SKELETON STORY #1
Plot: Alessandro Rak
Layout: Alessandro Rak and Andrea Scoppetta
Pencils: Alessandro Rak
Colors: Alessandro Rak and Andrea Scoppetta
English translation: Andrea Plazzi and Adam McGovern
Letters: Studio Blue
Editor: Giuliano Monni
When a kidnapping goes horribly wrong, Will Musil finds himself following a black cat to a land where the dead (now skeletons) live their lives as normally as they can. Will needs to redeem himself, and it appears he is being given a chance to live his life differently working as a detective. However, strange things are afoot in the kingdom of the dead as something living has crossed over…
There’s something very Miyazaki about the whole story. It’s definitely not a rip-off, but does feel like an homage to the master. And like many of Miyazaki’s films, the opening doesn’t make a lot of sense until the story has a chance to gather steam. If there is one problem with this issue, this is it; there’s a lot going on, but it needs a few more pages to really really click.
I’ve seen a few solicitation items for this title saying it is very Burtonesque, and I can’t say I agree with that assessment. The story may be a bit weird and out there, but the art and story are nothing like Beetlejuice or A Nightmare Before Christmas.
THE ART OF DEAD PEOPLE
The art in this book is really different from what you are probably used to. The characters are really cartoony in nature, and at first glance, readers might pass the book off as one aimed at kids. Dealing with the land of the dead as a living world has been done before, but I like this take on it, and the visual depictions are well done.
I think one of the elements that drew me to this book was the coloring. It is much more muted than other books we’ve seen solicited from GG Studio, but it still feels like I’m looking at frames of an animated movie. It’s wonderfully done and looks amazing.
Apparently this 2006 Italian story got a game release or at least a teaser for a game release in 2009, and looking at the trailer seems to hit home that the art was created for more than just the printed page.
BOTTOM LINE: CHECK IT OUT
I’m not really sure where any of this is going. GG Studio has been around since 2006 in Italy, but this looks to be their first venture into the realm of US Publishing. While I’ve glanced through the other offerings the company has coming out soon, this is the one that drew me in the most. We usually don’t see comics that feature a dead person trying to redeem himself, and I think there could be something special in this story once it completely plays out. If you still have time to get this in your pre-order, I think it is worth checking out. It certainly has grabbed my attention, and while the story doesn’t open with a lot of answers, it is worth 3.5 out of 5 Stars.