Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Zojaqan' #1 by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Nathan Gooden, and Vittorio Astone

'Zojaqan' is a poetic tale of loss and rebirth, a dreamlike adventure spanning ages built from the heart. Shannon Kind is mourning the loss of her son and that pain has swept her away to another world in a stunning debut from Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Nathan Gooden and Vittorio Astone.


ZOJAQAN #1 
    
Writer: Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Nathan Gooden, Vittorio Astone 
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Publisher: Vault Comics
Release Date: July, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)


Falling among the clouds descending into the ocean, a weary soul is literally lost at sea left with memories of the son she lost. She inexplicably leaves our time and space and enters an entirely new fresh world, a planet dawning into existence. Kind is the only human on this planet with nary an inhabitant, except for some strange creatures she encounters. It's a world of her making and hers to explore. Zoraqan is hers to build while she reconciles her emotions and heartbreak. Her journey is represented in a surrealistic way without a linear story to hold on to much like her floating through the sky, untethered and free.

Lanzing and Kelly create an epic fantasy, ethereal and magical, where Kind must survive and build. A fable of loss and renewal as expressed through this new land that needs guidance and a loving hand that only a mother like her can give. Woven throughout the story are snapshots of Kind's life on earth, as a daughter, a lover, a mother. We learn a lot about her even as she's swept from one dangerous eon to another in her new life. Her father an immigrant from Ghana pushed her to do her best as a runner when she was a kid. She grew up to become a postal worker and a loving mother. And then the son is gone. It's all beautifully illustrated by Gooden.

As fluid and melancholy as the dialogue and narration are, Gooden's art is what makes 'Zojaqan' a unique experience. There are some scenes with little or no words and the story is told through Gooden's pencils. Sweeping views from the sky, under water, and on land provide the perfect canvas for Gooden's exquisite designs. From volcanoes to forests, to rugged shores and wide landscapes, Gooden whisks the reader away by the arm and immerses them in a wondrous and awe-inducing world. The beating heart, the moments that hit the hardest are the panels that depict her earthly life and most of all the sequence leading to her son's death and the aftermath. Gooden uses a sort of short hand in those panels that will wreck you emotionally. Vittorio Astone's colors are mostly soft, subtle pastels while Kind's past is layered in deep rich earth tones. Astone's color selection is perfect especially when featuring the distinctive and fierce creatures Kind finds on Zojaqan.

Probably the most significant and important detail of the art is the expressive emotional roller coaster displayed in Kind's face throughout the issue. A history of happiness, resilience, apathy, love, joy, fear, pain, fear, determination, triumph, is shown in the face of a beautiful black woman that now transcends time and space chosen to build an entire new civilization. It seems whatever forces brought her to Zojaqan know that she can handle the task, given her tenacity.

'Zojaqan' #1 is a beautiful exploration of the human spirit transcending reality to give birth to a new world. This is science fiction and fantasy as poetry and Shannon Kind as the muse. She's transported to this primitive planet without explanation but is able to turn pain into power, apathy into action, and grief into grit. She is a champion that Kelly, Lanzing, Gooden and Astone bring to vivid life in one of most ethereal adventures in comics. If you're looking for something more nuanced and can appreciate a symphony of wonder and emotion than this is for you.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PREVIEW: 'Red Sonja & Vampirella Meet Betty & Veronica' #2 by Amy Chu and Maria Sanapo

The body count increases and the mystery deepens as Vampirella and Red Sonja investigate the deaths plaguing Riverdale High. Turns out American high school life is as mysterious and perplexing as the murders themselves! Meanwhile, Betty and Veronica have troubles of their own when they butt heads with the editor of the school newspaper over their investigative news coverage. Is there a coverup afoot?


Red Sonja & Vampirella Meet Betty & Veronica #2
writer: Amy Chu artist: Maria Sanapo covers: Fay Dalton (A), Robert Hack  (B), Laura Braga (C)              Dan Parent (D), Cat Staggs (E)               Dan Parent (RI-B/W), Laura Braga (RI-B/W),                Laura Braga (RI-Virgin), Dan Parent (RI-Virgin)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+  










Legendary Comics Releases Volume Two of 'Lost in Space: Countdown to Danger' and 'Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano'

Legendary Comics announces the release of the second seasons of popular comic series: LOST IN SPACE: COUNTDOWN TO DANGER and FIREBRAND: THE INITIATION OF NATALI PRESANO.


Launching into comic stores and online today, Volume Two of Lost in Space: Countdown to Danger tells all new thrilling backstories of the show’s favorite heroic characters, with a special focus on Parker Posey’s villainous ‘Dr. Smith’ and fan favorite ‘Robot.’ While, Season Two of Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano, created by Jessica Chobot and Erika Lewis, continues the journey of a young witch who has come to Seattle to defend humanity against darkness, now available exclusively on Webtoon. Readers can download the official Webtoon app by visiting the Apple App Store and Google Play.


LOST IN SPACE: COUNTDOWN TO DANGER:

Penned by writer Richard Dinnick (Doctor Who; Thunderbirds) and Brian Buccellato (Detective Comics; The Flash) with stunning artwork by Zid (Skull Island: Birth of Kong; Trick ‘r Treat: Days …

Jordie Bellaire and Drew Moss Bring 'Vampirella/Red Sonja' Together for New Ongoing Series

Long overdue history in the making! Dynamite's two flagship heroines are teaming up in a new ongoing series starting in September, written by the multitalented and Eisner-winning Jordie Bellaire (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Redlands) with art by Drew Moss (Star Wars).


The story starts in 1969, the genesis of Vampirella - timed perfectly with her 50th Anniversary now being celebrated in 2019. Vampi's new to Earth and still adapting to our world. She finds herself attracted to the supernatural and paranormal mysteries of the world. When suddenly she runs across a young Red Sonja, plucked out of time and clueless. The two women set forth on an adventure, collaborating as both detectives and warriors to find out what has happened... only for more space-time shenanigans to befall them! Do not expect any cliché misunderstanding fights, these two Women of Dynamite are working together, no holds barred.

This series marks Jordie Bellaire further flexing her skills as a writer, following …

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 …

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: