Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'The Circle' #1 by Damon Clark and Alyzia Zherno


★★★★☆ (4/5)

Sometimes new comic books don't need to rely on superheroes, mutants, aliens, or zombies. Sometimes a simple straight-forward story is all you need. 'The Circle' #1 proves this with a tender, albeit familiar, story of loss while coming of age in a new town, a new school. It's an engrossing first issue before things get really weird. 

Damon Clark sets a solid foundation as young Christian Reynolds and his supportive father head to Shell Bay to start a new life after his mom passes away. It's told lovingly in concise, caption-less, panels through Alyzia Zherno's wonderfully thin penciling, Tim Burton-esque character designs, and a warm children's book veneer. Christian's dad works tirelessly to cheer him up, help him feel normal after such a tragic loss. Clark excels in drawing emotions from the father-son dynamic that it makes up for some of more cliched aspects of the story. 

Christian, predictably, doesn't fit in right away at his new high school. He's quickly bullied and beat up by some typical jerky jocks. It's not going well for Christian. He finds some respite and joy in making the basketball team. However, that joy is short-lived until a group of kids befriend him and take him to their hidden hangout. The dialogue feels natural and realistic, including the occasional curse word sounds appropriate. This is a familiar arc for a fish-out-of-water story but it's also clearly a set-up for what's to come. Clark chooses character development and world building over spectacle and forced theatrics. 'The Circle' is a low-key start but promises not to remain so. 

Zherno is a unique talent. The layouts are clean and dynamic enough to give this grounded story some energy and dimension. My only critique is characters have similar facial features that doesn't differentiate them enough. I didn't know Christian was a boy until a third into the story. His features appeared feminine and while that was a bit distracting, once I found Zherno's groove it didn't matter.'The Circle' doesn't look like anything else in comic shops and that's a good thing. 


'The Circle' shows a lot of promise. Clark invests a lot of time in presenting his characters with the care and respect they deserve. Zherno displays a quirky art style that fits the story well. It's an easy new title to get lost into and appreciate. The best part? The darker elements of the story are right around the corner. Now would be a great time to get on board with 'The Circle.'

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: 'WHITE' The Sequel to the Acclaimed Graphic Novel BLACK

How does America react when only black people have superpowers? In the sure-to-be-controversial six-part comic book series WHITE, co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, Inkpot-Award winning artist Jamal Igle, and cover artist Khary Randolph reunite for the sequel to their acclaimed graphic novel and Kickstarter sensation, BLACK.



“How does a nation struggling with a history of racial inequality cope in a world where only black people have superpowers?” said Kwanza Osajyefo. “Our story asks: In a time of supposed inclusion and diversity, how far will those in charge push back to retain the status quo?”

In WHITE, Theodore Mann, whose family exploited empowered blacks for centuries, is now President of the United States. Mann’s administration has exacted controversial measures to deal with the empowered he’s deemed terrorists and is stoking national tensions to win public support for Mann First, a cybernetically-augmented soldier program. The main person standing in the President’s …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

PRE-ORDER: 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' #1 (of 5) by Kelly Thompson, Veronica Fish, and Andy Fish

BRAND NEW SERIES! Sabrina is a teen witch who’s struggling with balancing the double life of high school and her burgeoning powers. Newly relocated to Greendale with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (also witches), Sabrina is trying to make the best of being the new girl in town which so far includes two intriguing love interests, an instant rivalry, a couple of misfits that could turn into BFFs, and trying to save the high school (and maybe the world) from crazy supernatural events. NBD!




SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #1 (OF 5)
Script: Kelly Thompson Art: Veronica Fish, Andy Fish, Jack Morelli Cover: Veronica Fish Variant Covers: Stephanie Buscema, Adam Hughes, Victor Ibanez, Sandra Lanz On Sale Date: 3/27 32-page, full color comic $3.99 U.S.
FINAL ORDERS DUE 3/4 ON SALE 3/27
Artwork by Veronica & Andy Fish