Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday Revue August 22: Doppelganger

For Every Evil Under The Sun.....

There Is The Doppelganger

We all know we have our dark sides. But what if your dark side was living another life, many other lives, and every one of them evil?
What if you could stop them?
This is the disturbing moral underpinning that underlies 'The Doppelganger'. An interesting piece Drawn by Franky Plata Rojas. Written by Thibault Kervarech, 'The Doppelganger' can be found at this link
It's a fascinating idea. If the version of you in other realities is evil, do you bear some responsibility? And can you as a person fight back?
Oh but don't worry, 'Doppelganger' doesn't stay philosophical for long. In fact, it gets decidedly messy. Fast.

The Rating

A fascinating journey through the underbelly of the psyche, with a couple bumps along the way.

The Raves

This is one of those stories that you have to read twice to pick up all the intricacies, and it's well worth the second read. I was impressed at first by a dream-like LSD trip of an introduction that allows the reader to understand the Doppelganger's mission quite clearly through the use of some really disturbing imagery, and only a handful of words. It's not easy to get such a complicated spec-fic plot across, and here it was managed really beautifully.
In fact, the storytelling in 'Doppelganger' is always well done. Pacing is strong, scenes are sharp and well thought out, and dialogue never waffles on. In some respects 'Doppelganger' reminds me of 'Watchmen', with its emphasis on doing right in an immoral world and...well, be honest, blood.
But you'd be amazed how much characterization and backstory can be squeezed into terse dialogue and fast-paced storytelling, if you know what you're doing. 'Doppelganger' uses explanation like a spice, seasoning the story carefully without ruining the meal.

The art keeps the story's 'shades of grey' mentality vivid in the eye with use of greyscale and neon-backlit colors that bleed into one another. There's a great use of varied body types to give personality to each character, and anatomically the work is spot on. (which is pretty important when you're showing a face after acid's been poured on it...all the muscle groups were there all right, once I got the guts to really study it... shudder...)    The creators have a great sense of facial expression as well, which in a visual media really adds to the subtlety of scenes.
Between strong art and powerful storytelling, this is the kind of story you can get so wrapped up in that the shock of realizing you've finished the archive and come to the last page has all the force of knuckle dusters to the nose.

The Razzes

The one thing that this creative team really needs to work on is their cinematography, especially during action scenes involving a lot of movement. A particular strip sums it up perfectly: 

Still and exposition scenes are nicely done, with great 'shots' chosen by the artist, expressive faces and strong body language. But the minute action starts, the artist pans out; all characters are drawn smaller, and there's a sense that the artist is definitely simplifying their drawing style. This is a consistent bad habit throughout the story, and it really knocks the quality of the entire comic down a peg. It wouldn't be such a big deal if this wasn't an action comic, but as it is, it becomes an issue.
It's possible that this problem is due to the difficulty of imagining action scenes or bodies creating certain movements, a problem that I as an artist struggle with myself. If that's the issue, I recommend a great book, Buddy Scalera's
it's really good value for $15!

The Revue

If you're a noir fan, read Doppelganger. It's worth it.

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