Spoilers for Issue #1, No spoilers for Issue #2
I haven't heard much about Shadecraft yet and, I got to say, I'm glad I choose to read it myself because otherwise, I would've missed this series! As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, I’m a big fan of the show Buffy, and other campy supernatural shows, and there have been quite a few comics coming out lately that have been compared to Buffy. Out of all of them, I have to say- this is the one that feels the closest to having that spark Buffy had in seasons 2 and 3 (it's prime time, other Buffy stans fight me). I’ve got the evidence to back myself up! Here are the 3 ingredients that Shadecraft has that make it so great, and not only gives it a spark similar to Buffy’s but a spark of its own! So, if you're turned off by hearing something else compared to Buffy- hang in there! This isn't JUST for Buffy fans by any measure.
#1 - Dialogue
Shadecraft is a gift to me, and me personally, because WOW DO I LOVE THE DIALOGUE IN
IT! Do you know how hard it is to find a comic that you can read, just because of how good the dialogue is alone?? Not having to rely on the art or plot being good- you can just enjoy the dialogue? Whew, let me tell you, it’s great!
..that's not to say that the art and story are not also great- they are! This makes this a true gift for ALL of us comic lovers out there- everyone gets something here. I’m getting sidetracked though. Oops.
I LOVE campy but realistic dialogue. What do I mean by that? Well, I enjoy dialogue that is easy to read, has a natural flow to it, and isn’t afraid to be silly at times- but still adds to the story and plot. Dialogue is the hardest thing in the world to write, at least from my perspective, and Shadecraft makes it look like it’s the easiest thing to write. I’d honestly argue that the dialogue makes this comic in many ways, which is funny because that was the criticism Buffy once got that made the episode “Hush” happen, where there was barely any dialogue. That said, I think even without the dialogue this comic would still be great; the dialogue just adds more greatness to it. If you’re a sucker for solid, fun dialogue, pick this up. Do it.
#2 - Plot
The plot is fresh and new enough that it's keeping me hooked. I mean- what would YOU do if your sibling, who’s supposed to be in a coma, saves you and becomes your shadow? What logical explanation could YOU come up for this? So far, I’ve got nothing- and that’s a good thing! It’s a new plot that I personally haven’t seen before and I greatly appreciate that.
Now, is it a new plot that is impossible to see where it’s going? Absolutely not- but it doesn’t need to be! I don’t need a crazy, complex plot every time I read a comic. I do need something I enjoy, and at times something that I haven’t enjoyed yet- this hits both those notes for me.
I love how well they combine the supernatural and realistic elements of the story. We’ve got the main plot of trying to figure out why Zadie’s brother is a shadow and why other shadows are after Zadie, but we’ve also got the story of the suffering their family has gone through while caring for Ricky’s body in a coma. Caring for a loved one is often seen as something we would all do no matter what, especially for family members, and rightfully so- but it is never as easy as it looks. It’s incredibly hard to care for a loved one who is compromised in their health and it isn’t always talked about how this can change someone’s life so drastically as well. I really love how Shadecraft takes the time to touch on this issue and doesn’t only make this a fun story- it’s also a REAL story. (Well, as real as it can get.) If you’re a sucker for a fun supernatural story mixed in with strong family vibes, this is it for you too!
#3 - Art
Usually, art is the first thing I notice in a comic. However, as mentioned earlier, I LOVE the
dialogue in this book. It flows so well and keeps me so hooked that the art just blends in with it for me. That said, stepping back and looking at the art by itself- it’s beyond AMAZING on its own-particularly outside of the high school setting. I think the best art in this series shines on the backgrounds in this series- the shadows and color palettes used are particularly great. I mean, look at these images?? How freaking amazing are they??
I decided to read Shadecraft out of the blue and I’m so so glad I did! It’s an utter delight to read and so easy to read at that. I don’t need a complicated story with a ton of narrative or a ton of abstract art for a book to be enjoyable. I just need it to be good or hell, even great. This is it. This is great! Pick it up and get a taste of Shadecraft’s SPARK!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Bi gives this:
4.5 out of 5 Finger Guns
(because I'm bi)
You can find Your Friendly Neighborhood Bi, Lauren, on Twitter: