Filed under: Comic Reviews, Indie Comics | Tags: British Comic Awards, Colin Bell, Gary Kelly, Insomnia, MCM, Neverending, Olivia Olsen, Parkour, Sarah Pickwick, Stephen Sutherland, Taking Flight
From the first time I saw the teased cover image from the creators for Neverending – I had a fair idea that this would be another Indie/Self-published title that I’d be clamouring to get hold of but fate’s heavy hand meant I missed the MCM Comic Con at the SECC which marked the launch……and to make matters worse……at least for me…..it sold out its first print faster than a complaint was registered against the casting of Affleck…..and that’s FAST!
That being said, a second print is on its way soon so I’ll get my hands on one soon but the gods of fate saw fit to shine some luck my way and I got hold of a digital copy from writer Stephen Sutherland, who’s previous release Taking Flight had impressed the Comics Anonymous gang. Excitement pushed firmly back into my head as I donned my reviewing cap – I read, re-read and re-re-read the issue and I got something different from it each time. The mark of a good title for sure.
First time around I got the basics, our main character Olivia Oisen is an insomniac to the nth degree – filling her time with workouts, reading and training…..and in among that she hangs out with her dad and her girlfriend, Sarah. Seems to be fairly straight-forward but that training I mentioned reaches far beyond the confines of a gym as her need to fill all that spare time she has, stretches through to crime-fighting. Brains and parkour skills combine to let her take out some minor thugs with ease before an anonymous tip to the police but aiming her sights on some bigger fish bring her face to face with something new……a full-on, locking horns challenge that almost gets her caught.
A swift escape brings her back into her contented life of lesbian love (not the sordid kind) and trying to fill her time as best she can, given her aversion to forty winks. Problem is her normal and nocturnal lives crossover and the man that gave her that challenge the previous night passes through both. Making her excuses she’s in pursuit but again, she’s caught off guard and soon she’s hooded ready for kidnapping. Fighting herself free she’s now face to face with some gun barrels at point blank range……and that’s how we close out the first issue.
WOW…..so much to take in the space of a single issue – crime fighting, sexuality and insomnia are all pretty normal things and thankfully their dealt with in a level-headed way, as they should be. The lesbian factor is a real relationship….not a glossy Hollywood sex-fest and that’s to be applauded as it mixes in well with a strong female character like Olivia. The relationship with her dad, her studies and even her matter-of-fact training in light of her sleepless state just all seem to fit and make sense.
As for artwork, at first I was wishing this was in colour but the black & white work from Gary Kelly is effortless as action and glimpses of the more personal moments of life are caught with the same level of detail and care….and the panel layouts are effective at capturing the tones of the scenes and even the movement of the characters – kudos for that. Colin Bell on lettering offers that additional support of some fine work too….an often ignored element of any comic book but you’d notice right away if it was badly done…..thankfully in this case Colin slides in there like the last piece of a 3-piece jigsaw.
Another big WIN for a local creative team and further evidence that good comics are achievable outside of the big name publishers…..and in many cases, like this one, they’re better. The typical risk-taking is there and the drive to tell a story you can go back to again and again has been achieved. It’s no surprise it sold out as quickly as it did…..and even less of a surprise that it’s nestled in the list of titles being considered for the British Comic Book awards – British Comic Awards Nominees
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