Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Reviewing “Hydroland” by Justin Martin & Mel Todd

            a review of the preview by Sam White

A powerless member of the new media, I was given the gracious opportunity to preview an upcoming comic book by the above-mentioned Martin & Todd called “Hydroland”.  Briefly, Hydroland is the story of a people who live in the water.  They’ve lived in peace until, suddenly they are invaded.

Now, the preview I got to see gives some hints at what the invasion is (thematically) but not how it is carried out practically—in the comic book, anyway.  I won’t give that away, except to say that it’s going to take some skill to carry out.  These guys have it, I think (they tell a good preview, anyway), but it’s tough.  How many times in school were you shown a painting or read a poem and the teacher told you about all the deep, sensual or violent undertones and you sat there thinking, “I thought it was about a basketball that’s gone flat.”  And try as you might, you can never see anything other than the flat basketball.

Martin and Todd are creating (the full book’s not out, yet) an ambitious story of sin and redemption, couched in a story of an underwater society and depicted in an artistic style that is reminiscent of the best of R. Crumb’s work but (IMHO) more cheerful, even when the story itself takes a grim turn.  The bits of artwork we get to see in this preview (download the preview for free here: http://comics.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=99418) are intriguing and make me anxious to see the finished product (many of the pics in this download are production art, but I love looking at that kind of thing and seeing how an artist goes from pre-production to post-).