Monday, 5 August 2013

Winterworld review

Winterworld collects the three issue mini-series written by Chuck Dixon and drawn by Jorge Zaffino as well as the never before published sequel by the same creative team, Wintersea. Both stories are very similar in plot and in execution. One of them, Wintersea, is much better than the other and it's because of that second story that this book is ultimately a good read.

Comics Should Be Good's Brian Cronin once described Winterworld as Water World in comic form but, you know, in winter. It's a pretty accurate description. Chuck Dixon gives us a vaguely defined post-apocalyptic world where winter is never ending. Polar bears roam the Caribbean and cities are half engulfed in snow and ice. Many types of animals are now extinct, restaurant and retail franchises that are still standing are misunderstood as people no longer remember what they were for. Pizza Hut is either a mythological folk hero or a place where pizza is eaten. The latter of those two options is what our hero, Scully, thinks but he has no idea what kind I animal pizza could be.

Both stories involve a search for or the discovery of a warm safe haven from the harsh world of continuous winter. Scully either escapes or is cast away from those places and returns to rescue Wynn and generally destroying those special places in the process.

Both stories work as adventure stories. There are evil men, explosions, etc but in the first story Dixon's writing is unsure. Oddly enough, it’s also characterized by the confidence of a young creator. His writing improves for the second story and that’s matched by a more interesting narrative as well, even though it closely resembles the three issues of Winterworld.  Zaffino’s art is very good in Winterworld but he doesn't have too many exciting things to draw other than mean looking men snow and explosions. Dixon gives him more interesting things to draw in the sequel. Dixon asks Zaffino to draw us large ships carried atop the backs of tanks rolling around on the frozen sea heading towards a utopian city located on a volcanic island. Zaffino’s art overall seems to be better in the second story and Dixon's writing is confident, too. It's a better marriage of big creator talent which results in a more entertaining comic.

IDW's Winterworld collection is a good comic. At heart it's a post-apocalyptic adventure comic with lots of action, a bit of darkness and wonderful visual spectacles. It's a Hollywood summer movie as a comic and it doesn’t try to be anything else which contributed to my enjoyment of it. It also had a cameo of Chuck and Jorge in the second last page of Wintersea and I always enjoying seeing creator cameos in comics.

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