Owlgirls #1 Review

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Three sisters (Magda, Martha and Maggie), present a threat to their fellow New York City residents with their strange heads in this Kickstarted project from Red Anvil Comics. Readers should come innoculated for: avian flu.

Owlgirls cover OWLGIRLS #1
Writer: Robert J. Sodaro
Artist:
Rachele Aragno with Dave Ryan
Publisher: Red Anvil Comics

Cover Price: $4.99

 

THIS WAS AN ISSUE ABOUT NOTHING

Meet the Owlgirls: Magda, Martha and Maggie. New Yorkers with avian heads living in the 1940s. Rather than having the anthropomorphism be a non-issue (in the vein of something like Blacksad or Howard the Duck), every other character we are introduced to eludes to this difference and a weird set of powers. However … in so far as the reader can tell, the only thing Magda, Martha and Maggie (two of whom cannot be told apart), can do is diagnose a sick baby with croup.
The personalities of everyone on panel is flat and bordering on stereotype in place of a childish simplicity it feels like Sodaro is reaching for. Almost none of the characters are given a name and, it’s not that the characters are unlikeable, they are just dull. They drag their way across 22 pages until a group of mobsters show up and we are left with a feeling of: now the plot is about to begin!

DARK SKETCHY GOODNESS!

When I was sixteen I thought Edward Gorey was just about the coolest thing I’d ever seen. Apparently, Rachele Aragno and Dave Ryan are of a like mind. The images they put on the page are strongly reminiscent of Gorey, albeit with a more refined, finished quality. The art of Owlgirls #1 is the delight of the issue and the, frankly, strange character designs were the things that kept me from rushing straight to the end.
This is a talented artistic team that could have told a more compelling story if they’d presented it sans prose; leaving the reader to fill in the finer details for themselves. (the example that comes to mind is OWLY, ironically enough).

BOTTOM LINE: FLIP THROUGH IT AT THE RACK.

 

Part of me can’t believe this book was Kickstarted. I wish Sodaro had stuck to a more traditional first issue character development model so I could have familiarized myself with the characters and the seeds of attachment would have been planted. Aragno and Ryan’s sketchy style appeals to all my 16-year-old sensibilities and Owlgirls #1 is worth peeking at simply for the images.