Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Revue August 27: Ten Years

Come Take A Stroll Down Possibility Lane


Ten Years

Should've. Would've. Could've. What would've happened if...we all ask ourselves these questions. Danny Valdez has taken it a step further, creating Ten Years: An exploration of both time and place, and the potential intersections which could have shaped my life. The story splits down two alternate routes with the opening of that dreaded college acceptance letter so many of us remember. Holding it in sweating fingers, our hero opens it and finds...well, he could have found two different things. And that's where things get going.

The Rating

I give it an A for creativity, a C for execution.

The Raves

Reading 'Ten Years' is, for a lot of Americans, like looking in a mirror. It expresses much of our collective social experience in a charming 'boy next door' way, capturing scenes that make you give a gentle, reminiscent smile and remember the time when you were in your own version of the situation.
The writing is solid; the creator is very good at encapsulating an entire social experience or life event in a few panels, and the writing flows from experience to experience in a cogent way. There's a gently affirming comfort in the work as well: even if your life didn't go exactly as you had planned, you can still find joy in it.

The art is extremely stylistic and rather flat, but also highly consistent (an image creation program I presume?) and meshes well with the story style. Nothing particularly wrong.

The Razzes

Problem is, 'nothing really wrong' and 'rather flat' sums up the entire emotional tone of 'Ten Years'.This comic is a little TOO realistic; events happen. People do things. Nothing is really resolved, and though character growth is hinted at there's nothing that calls the character to really rise or fall.

  I've lived in the Midwest, and this is the comic equivalent of sitting on a porch in a small Wisconsin town and watching your neighbors go by. There's nothing wrong with it, and on certain days it's pleasant. But it doesn't' do much beyond comfort.It is, quite simply, ordinary life in Heartland America on paper....and most of us read to get out of our everyday lives.
The creator has grasped all the aspects of comic work and draftsmanship. What they're missing is a soul. I'm hoping they'll use this as their learning project and go forward with a new idea that has a bit more zest. Everything's here but the spark.

The Revue

If you need some mental downtime, grab a seat on the porch, ma will have some iced tea for you. If you're looking for excitement, keep driving.

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