I’m no expert on the what drives fan boys (or girls) to read one comic over another, but a casual glance at the comic book rack at the local comic book store indicates that sexy ladies, wearing little to no clothing, and swinging a sword, seems to be a way to sell comics. If that is indeed the case, Mediterranea #1 from GG Studio Design is going to be a number one best seller.
Title: Mediterranea #1
Plot: Giuliano Monni
Story: Alessandro Cenni
Pencils: Gianluca Maconi
Colors: Alissa Nocera and Barbara Ciardo
English Translation: Andrea Plazzi and Adam McGovern
Letters: Studio Blue
Editor: Giuliano Monni
Publisher: GG Studio Design
SEXY LADY TIME
I’m sure it is the dream of many a young lad to be standing on a deserted island, watching the waves lap the shore, then spot a sexy lady wearing next to nothing, and then having a romantic encounter with her and her best friend. While that exact sequence doesn’t play out in this issue, it does feature Alonisso and her companion/friend/lover Eleni sharing some “special time” together the night before their arrival to the seaside town of Milos. It’s certainly a way to grab the reader’s attention on the first page, and it leads the reader into their master’s diplomatic mission to Milos, and the crazy times that follow.
The world of Mediterranea definitely falls in the realm of fantasy, as the combination of technology (the central characters have a floating droid) and sword and sorcery (there is a good chase scene and sword fight), mix to create a world that is ancient and yet full of mystery. As far as the characters go, everyone from the Ajreb race are tall, dark, and sexy, and have no problem wearing very little clothing to prove it. While many question why characters like Witchblade need to wear so little, this world seems to revel in the lack of clothing. At one point I wondered how far the book could go before something popped out, and it only took a well placed swipe from a sword to find out. Of course being translated for American audiences, nudity of any kind is kept hidden behind well placed props and scraps of clothing to keep the book from getting an Adult rating.
Except for the scantily clad women running around, there really isn’t a reason to give the book any higher rating than Teen. Yes, there are on panel indications that the two female leads have a romantic/sexual relationship with one another, but other than that this first issue is the basic fantasy set up; Trio arrives in town, they separate, a mysterious stranger attempts to kill the female lead, a chase and fight ensue, another mysterious stranger steps out from the shadows to save the woman’s life. By issue’s end, the reader should have a basic understanding of the world, even though some of the word usage and visual distractions may throw the reader off.
SEXY LADY TIME PART 2
When it comes to art, this has to be one of the most gorgeous issues I have ever read. It isn’t just because the sexy women are doing sexy things while wearing sexy clothing, the artists dump a huge amount of detail in each panel, and it looks like they spent some time in Greece researching ancient structures to get the decaying parts of the old city just right. Milos feels lived in. It looks like it is has been around forever, and the characters look right in the Mediterranean setting.
The colors of this issue are jaw dropping as well. Like other GG Studio Design books we’ve reviewed on the site, and discussed on the Major Spoilers Podcast, this issue looks like the creators come from the animation world, and are simply applying their craft to the printed page. Lighting effects, soft blur filters, and Matthew’s favorite lens flare are present and add to the cinematic feel of the story.
BOTTOM LINE: SEXY LADY TIME
This is the start of a big epic adventure – or at least that is how it feels. We don’t know much if anything about the character’s back story, save what is shared as general information on the page, but there are few strong messages to readers on how to find their place in the world. The issue moves along very quickly, and that is a shame because the story really gets interesting after the girls stop making out and others attempt to kill them. The art is brilliant, and is reason alone to pick up the book. Like the previous GG Studio Design title before it, I’ll pick up another issue or two to see what happens next. If you like the fantasy genre, Mediterranea should be right up your alley, earning 4 out of 5 Stars.