Comics Anonymous

July 13, 2012, 10:18 am
Filed under: Archaia, Comic Reviews | Tags: , , , ,

Having been introduced to the Rust stories in Archaia’s hardback FCBD release in May (reviewed here) – it was a matter of time before I picked up and read the first volume and pick it up I did.

This all-ages release by Royden Lepp tells the story of Roman Taylor as he struggles to keep the family farm afloat in a country still recovering from a great war.  His father is away from the farm continuing to fight the good fight as robots take on humans and with a poignant narrative supplied by Roman’s letters to his father we’re immersed in the book instantly.  Rambling on about his day-to-day chores, trying to find out how his father is doing and asking him questions about the robot he’s planning to rebuild as a helper during the harvest – oh yeah and he lets his dad know about Jet Jones’ arrival on the farm with his jet-pack.

Part of the magic of this book is that we’re not really sure if there’s an air of exaggeration on the retelling of how Jet Jones turned up on the farm.  An epic chase/robot battle that sees Roman team-up with Jet and try taking on an iron-giant that rips through the barn as it pursues a weakening Jet.  Although, truth is I’m inclined to believe the story as I jump easily on-board with Royden Lepps story-telling.

The flashback to Jet’s arrival on the farm mixes with the daily chores around the farm and builds that feeling of wonder in what could easily have been a mundane story about farming life.  Instead the book has that Sunday matinee feel to it with a comforting warm glow emanating from the sepia toned pages.  A vibe built on further as the elements of ‘Rocketeer’ meets ‘The Iron Giant’ meets ‘Stand By Me’ and a coming-of-age story with that twist of adventure passes by much quicker than you realize.

The adventure aspects of the story are made all the more engaging as they nestle in between every-day life on the farm.  Chores to do, barns to fix and crops to sow are all part of Roman’s life while the narrative flow of Roman’s letter writing to his father provide another element of realism for what could’ve been another boy makes friends with a  flying jetpack owner mash-up.

A strong first volume in terms of story with it’s adventure, war and mundane life elements, coupled with art that’s easy on the eye, not too demanding and very much has a glow and life to it that we almost lose in the wave of brash, multi-coloured comics that are on offer.

I can’t wait until the next release in October 2012:

Volume 2 – Rust: Secrets of the Cell



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