Comic Review: Joon
Comic Review: Joon
Writer, Art, and Colors: Kelsey Kasperski
This review contains spoilers.
Joon is a comic written, drawn and lettered by Kelsey Kasperski. It takes its name from the main character, a young woman who is one of humanity’s sole survivors. We don’t learn too much about what happened to the human race. From Joon’s thoughts we know she misses someone special. She’s got an awesome drone friend that kind of looks like a lantern. And she spends her time salvaging and selling scrap. By the end of the comic we learn that she has some powers that she’s not completely aware of. Joon is a perfectly paced narrative that slowly introduces new narrative elements.
Six, Joon's seeker drone, is a rare treat of a character, and there aren’t many in this issue. They’re funny and dig Golden Girls, and don't do their job as a seeker drone. This is a book that needs humor. It’s not quite dark enough to be that kind of gritty post-doomsday book. So the humor balances well with what otherwise is a bleak setting. Joon is interesting, especially as someone who is a clue to the disappearance of humans. Her inner dialogue narrates the beginning of the issue. This shows a much more complex and emotional side of her character. In contrast, Sarcasm and quips fill her conversations with Six and her buyer. This dialogue combines to present two sides of her. I'd rather read the former, but they add a dynamic personality to her character.
The art is fantastic in this first issue. The art has a loose feel with forms and shapes that are fluid and sometimes abstract. For example, the first ship we see is a whale. Another ship is a geometry of elliptical and mechanical shapes. Steam punk is the influence on the art style. We don’t get to see a lot of humans in this issue, which makes sense. When we do, their expressions are oddly drawn. For example the trader that Joon sells her haul too has a grimaced expression. His eyebrows raise in different ways, but his expression doesn’t change much across the panels. It’s hard to tell what exactly kind of grimace he holds. This is a good thing, because as much as this book is about the loss of humanity, it’s also about its replacement. The spotlight is on Joon and the other droids. The colors work well to show a dreary story. The palette is a lot of browns and grays, where there’s light, it’s a warm yellow that glows on the page. It definitely helps to give a sense of post-apocalyptic despair.
Kaspersky crafts a wonderful world through dialogue and artful settings. There’s enough mystery in the first issue to to continue on to the second. And enough to feel excited about what’s beyond issue two as well. I recommend Joon to people who dig post-apocalyptic narratives and sci-fi settings with an emotional flair.
Review Score: 8
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