Written by Nichi Hawkins
Pencils and Inks by Aramando C. Rillo Sr.
Colors by Bolaji Olaloye
Letters by Michael Neno
Edited by Jenn Bass
Cover Art by Jonny Hinkle and Raciel Avila Silva
For Headshrinker Press
There are a ton of reasons I enjoy the indie comic community; the raw talent of artists, the hunger these artists have, the passion they put into their work, and above all else I really enjoy the originality. Being original can sometimes become cumbersome, it’s always easy to follow a trend and put your own spin on something that has been done before, but to come up with something original is the mark of a true indie creator. What I like most about Landslide is the time frame and setting this story takes place in. Landslide is set in the late 1800’s during the construction of the Panama Canal. The cast of characters as well as the story are all original ideas but are based in Caribbean lore. Aside from a few of the big two’s characters that are voodoo based I have yet to see someone take this genre and tell a really intricate story. Hawkins has taken a small slice of the Caribbean and woven a tale that has elements of intrigue, mystery, and horror. The majority of the story is centered around two points of view; a rich Frenchmen that is heading up the canal operations and a poor Jamaican man that was just looking for a job. The roles of the characters, protagonist and antagonist, are quickly defined as things go south for the Jamaican fairly quickly. I feel like the Jamaican man is a strong protagonist because really he just wants a good job so he can take care of his wife and children, like most good people want, and it’s clear that he is having a hard time doing so in rural Jamaica. Overall I would say that the story structure is solid and the character base is pretty fresh and new. Hawkins weaved a story that is interesting and fun to read.
Rillo does a fantastic job at character design; the rich Frenchmen in their fancy clothes, the poor Jamaicans in their raggish looking cut off shirts, all of the characters looks are what really solidify their place in the storyline. Without Rillo’s design there might have been something lost in translation but with the characters looking they way they do there is no room for incorrect interpretation. I enjoy the color pallet but admittedly the review copy I received isn’t the highest quality and I’m colorblind so I will just say that the colors fit well and nothing looks out of place at all. The team of Rillo and Olaloye seem to work well together and they understand the direction of the story well enough to produce something nice. The lettering rounds off the art very well and all of the normal things like captions and dialog balloons are done well but where Neno really shines is with the captions that are supposed to be the Jamaicans letters home. These letters look like pieces of letters and really spice up the book making it just a bit more authentic when the story is being told from the Jamaican man’s perspective.