When this first came out it wasn't on my pull list and my LCS hadn't ordered enough copies, so I had to order it online. Got it a few days later, finally got round to checking it out this morning, and I'm so glad I did because wow it was just gorgeous!
It made me think about the range of the medium, with the text heavy storytelling of something like Department of Truth on the opposite end to this, with the more traditional comic book storytelling in the middle. I thought that was interesting as a look at the varying styles of books and ideas that are out there.
I don't know if this is something anyone outside the UK has heard of, but it also made me think about "The Snowman" while I was reading it, "a 1982 British animated television film and symphonic poem based on Raymond Briggs' 1978 picture book The Snowman." That is also completely wordless, the central song aside, and both that and this issue conveyed a sense of magical wonder in their execution.
Both feature a protecting figure of a younger child, one based in our world and only slightly fantastical (in the sense of the Snowman supposedly coming to life) and the other only described as an "armored giant" which this "helpless child" finds herself suddenly in the company of. As the solicit goes, "she and her guardian have no language, no memory, nothing—except each other."
I think what was especially compelling about this issue, was the idea that the reader is just as lost and clueless to this world as the main character. It's that classic wild, fantasy world, that's nothing especially new, but it's rendered beautifully by Matias Bergara, with some gorgeously vibrant and rich colors by Mat Lopes. To me there's a pure, magical feeling about the way the world this takes place in is illustrated. With no dialogue, everything that isn't specifically highlighted by the magnificent sequential storytelling is up to interpretation.
From the story by Si Spurrier, to the art and colors by Bergara and Lopes, as well as the graphic design and overall feel of the issue itself by Emma Price, Step by Bloody Step #1 is an artistic triumph by a legendary team, and another smash hit from Image Comics. Very excited and intrigued to see where it goes. The lack of text won't be for everyone, but I think this is something every comic fan should check out if they haven't already.
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