Coda-ChromeWritten by: Simon Spurrier
Art by: Matias Bergara
Color assists by: Michael Doig
Letters by: Colin Bell
Publisher: BOOM Studios
Review by: Andrew McAvoy
The imagery around this title really caught my imagination as it started to pop up in previews online over the last few weeks. I'm a big fan of colorful books and I like off the wall stories so it really did appear to be the type of book that I would enjoy. Let's see how it was.
The description of this book is as follows: "In the aftermath of an apocalypse which wiped out nearly all magic from a once-wondrous fantasy world, a former bard named Hum (a man of few words, so nicknamed because his standard reply is “hm”) seeks a way to save the soul of his wife with nothing but a foul-tempered mutant unicorn and his wits to protect him...but is unwillingly drawn into a brutal power struggle which will decide forever who rules the Weird Wasteland." This actually really appeals to me but unfortunately, this plot was pretty hard to decipher from what I read.
The writing in this book from Simon Spurrier was very difficult to penetrate. By the time I had reached the end of the book I had garnered some of the detail described above but by no means all. For starters the first few pieces of dialogue ramble on about rats and a character "scratching his arse". There is the use of vernacular so that Headsman is written as 'eadsman, and people prattle on about the Quench whenever I have no idea what "the Quench" really was aside from some form of apocalyptic event.
The art meanwhile, which was what had attracted to the title initially, made the reading experience even more confusing. While it was certainly colorful I found the style so difficult to decipher at first, I couldn't really tell what character was attached to word balloons, and the overall blast of various colors really sent my vision into a tailspin. Now, I must concede that after a while I did adjust to it and although there was still an element of sensory overload it was a style that, after an extended period of adjustment, had its attractions.
Bits and pieces
Going into this title with high hopes, I have to say that it left me quite flat and a bit disappointed. The art is not without its charms after a degree of acclimatization. The writing, however, was the real let down. While the immersive experience approach can be a neat trick at times in comic book writing, I just felt that this book expected too much of the reader. For me, it was like getting tossed into the deep end of a swimming pool without ever having had swimming lessons. Not pleasant, and I'm not inclined to come back for more.