Sunday, 7 April 2013

Unsounded - Sherina Ramlogan

            The second graphic novel I chose to review was called Unsounded by Ashley Cope.  The link to the first chapter is  This seven part free online graphic novel falls into the category of Epic Fantasy Adventure genre.  This is the first time reading this genre for me and I must say what a rollercoaster of emotions.  The author Ashley Cope, updates the website three times a week and as posted on the site takes “month-long” breaks upon completing each chapter.  So far posted there are seven chapters and I got through the first two.  Since I went over everyone blog on either Blogger or WordPress, I noticed my blog was a bit long so I’ll try and condense this one. 
            In the first chapter we are introduced by a character that appears to be a little girl.  But a few more panels in, she has some type of tail.  Her name is Sette and she is accompanied by a zombie named Duane.  They are continuously arguing and with this reveal more and more of the plot.  They are on a quest for Sette to get money from her cousin who owes it to her father.  Sette is a rude little obnoxious thief and it seems as if Duane is getting sick of her.  However, he cannot leave her because he made a deal with her father to watch over her.  Sette is becoming increasingly annoyed by Duane and decided to try and lose him.   She hears a noise and turns around Duane is devoured by what looks like some type of tree dinosaur.  After she finally gets him out Duane tells her that it is called a “Senet Beast” and it is almost extinct.  Sette wants to kill the best but Duane urges her to remain calm because the beast can feel energy and if they continue to argue it will become more and more infuriated.  Duane then goes on to tell Sette about living in peace with these beast and that the land belonged to them years before they were there.  At the end of the chapter Duane uses his magic to torch the beast because their arguing does not stop and the beast then tries to attack them. 
            A clear literary theme that I saw in the two chapters I read was the authors use of made-up characters and settings to portray real-life, human problems.  In the first chapter Cope compared the Senet Beast to being at risk of extinction.  Duane goes on to talk about living at peace with the beast and that they must not harm it because the beast is peaceful.  He also talks about the beast being there years and centuries before they were.  This is easily compared to problems that humanity faces right now.  There are several animals that are at risk for extinction such as pandas and rhinos.  I think this was a neat way to integrate a humanitarian issue into a comic.  It was quite subtle but if you looked close enough you would get the point. 
            The visual elements of the graphic novel were very detailed and over the top.  The colours filled each panels and provided a lot of interpretation.  The characters were quiet complex except for the main character Sette.  She instead had a very childish look to her with big green eyes and a small nose and mouth.  I think this was done intentionally because all the other characters had portioned faces and different looks.  I think Sette’s character was portrayed this way because of the way her personality was presented.  She seemed much older for her age in this graphic novel.  She had a clear attitude and always had something to say back.  But it became a little confusing because in the Sette’s word balloons, she couldn’t speak properly.  She often would talk about herself in third person saying “me” instead of I.  I think if I continue reading on it will be revealed as to why she talks like this.  The author also uses more detail in some scenes where they seem to be flashbacks of certain characters.  For example, Duane’s character is very much different visually from Sette.  When he has a flashback scene, all the characters in his scene look closer to his character.  This helped the reader distinguish what was happening for each character. 
            Overall this graphic novel was funny and captivating.  I actually want to continue reading on due to the suspense that the author puts in the graphic novel.  Especially towards the end which draws the reader in.  The characters are presented in a very individual and unique.  The author used an simple yet irregular way to present humanity issues.  The author eases into these problems and present them so subtly but yet the reader is able to identify it.  Great, simple and easy read!

Sherina Ramlogan

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