Writers Andrew Maxwell and Peter Miriani
Artist Mauricio Alvarez
Colorist Derek Dow
Letterer Bernardo Brice
Logo, Variant Cover Design, and Black Moth Society Sigil Sonia Harris
Sparks Journal Design Justin Cornell
Additional Book Design, Prepress and Editorial Assistance Adam Pruett
Publishing by Grenade Fight Inc.
Although I love Kickstarter’s and helping with crowd funding I can’t always back every project I come across. Pretty much every time it comes to money; either I don’t have it or I already have as much as I can put out onto other projects. When that happens I try to make a mental note and do what I can to get in on the next Kickstarter, buy it out right, or at the very least do a review. Aldous Sparks was one of these books that slipped through the cracks, I was broke at the time I saw it come out, but it was one that never strayed too far from my radar. I was overjoyed when I was asked to review this book, so overjoyed in fact I wanted to review this as well as a previous title from writer Andrew Maxwell.
Aldous Sparks had a surprisingly refreshing spirit as far as plot and idea for a comic book. The world of Sparks is set in the late 1800’s almost 1900’s and is a fairly intricate world of anarchists and institutional powers that be. The plot and feel is something like a Sherlock Holmes book meshed with the movie National Treasure, but the cast of characters are a bit more diverse. As a character Aldous is complex but not complicated; he is very smart, adventurous, cunning, and supremely witty. Aldous spends most of the book out witting even the smartest of foes and pulling himself and his right hand man, or in this case boy, out of the fire. Aldous isn’t overly routine, not that I haven’t seen characters like him before, but what makes him stand out is that he has dwarfism. If I was to describe him I would say he is combination of Sherlock Holmes, Nikola Tesla, Indiana Jones, and Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones. I feel like Maxwell and Miriani have made a very conscious effort at designing a protagonist that is different and fun. Maxwell and Miriani have a very diverse cast of protagonists, it’s not just Aldous, Isaiah is the smart mouth cynical sidekick that balances out Aldous and his genius. Isaiah is a young genius that fits right in with Aldous, he is the Short Round to Aldous’ Indiana Jones. The cast of characters continues but I feel like Aldous and Isaiah are the most important.
The key to any project is, of course, the art. A good idea without the correct execution is just that, a good idea, but the artists are the ones that really give the book its feel. I can’t say enough about the combination of Alvarez and Dow, exemplary art style followed by altogether perfect color pallets. I may be crazy but I feel like the character design is a perfect example of the time frame and the color pallet only enhances that feel. I see small steampunk nods in character design and the colors are largely darker and also reminiscent of the dark feel that steampunk usually has. The letters are what round out the art and their done perfectly, other than a sprinkling of really good action letters all of the letters are very serviceable to the book and the story, nothing fancy but the book doesn’t call for that so it fits well.
As of right now we can check them out on their Facebook page but soon this will be available for physical purchase and on Comixology.