‘Dive into issue one of Kazarn Comix Narratives and explore illustrated futurism with a batch of colorful, comedic and action packed short stories. Experience a rescue mission by a pair of skilled mercenaries (Earnest mercenaries). As well as a story featuring a hard working salvage yard employee as she navigates through the company’s scrap yard in a quest for spare parts (Top Junk Distribution).’
Written/art by: Dee Well
Released: 7 June 2017
With a rich painted sci-fi cover, this caught my eye right away. I love illustrations where there’s a lot of detail to find drink in, and sci-fi is usually an great source of that. The detail on the cover is actually simpler than it appears, but conveys that textured technology feel really well (great use of neon blue!).
That intense dark painting style (I don’t know if it’s traditional or digital, though it looks traditional) is used for all four short stories in this collection, although the actual style does vary a little to help give each story it’s own look. The first one is pretty trippy thanks to some stylised portal travel, and the second and fourth stories are heavy on the sci-fi tech settings. Mech suits ahoy! There is some very simple but effective world-building; that’s another thing sci-fi is good at, since some simple visual examples of technology – both level and ubiquity of – are usually enough to immediately tell us how close to contemporary or far future the story is. As soon as teleportation portals are involved you know it’s interesting, and flying mech suits as common tech are a pretty good cue for far future. The painting style used can be very visually dark at times, needing a second to find the details in a panel, but there’s rarely confusion as to what the characters are doing and they’re all very individual and expressive.
That’s not to say it’s perfect; outside of some brief background strippers there’s only one female character in the whole volume, whose outfit seems based around impractically showing cleavage as much as being a cool scavenging and flying rig, even though the story is interesting. And the stories are interesting – vignettes, rip-snorting action, and fun adventure are all on display with a definite sense of someone having fun. Unusually, I can’t find anything about writer/artist Well online (most comic workers have official Facebook pages at least, to promote their work digital or otherwise), so I have no idea if this is their usual style, if they’re prolific or previously unpublished, or previous creating work. ‘Comix’ usually refers to self-published zines and generally underground work, so while it’s not a huge surprise there isn’t officially published stuff, some online self-promotion can usually be found. I guess Well prefers to stay in the shadows. So I can only say that Kazarn is a cool work in its own right, without knowing the creator’s standard – but if it’s the same, then it’s a lot of fun techno. And maybe another giant snazzy chameleon.
Thanks to Comixology for supplying ‘Kazarn Comix Narratives Vol. 1’ for review.