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Brilliance in Simplicity
Review for Fell 1-A

Graphic Novel / Trade by Image, Jan 2007

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July 01, 2008

Brilliance in Simplicity

Writing: 4

Artwork: 5

Originality: 5

Overall rating: 5 - A MUST HAVE!

What began as an experiment in comic production, Ellis and Templesmith's FELL grew into a full-blown cult phenomenon.

The idea was simple: produce a comic with fewer pages to create a more affordable book. But FELL's lack of quantity certainly does not come hand-in-hand with a lack in quality. Warren Ellis tells the story of Det. Richard Fell, a hot-shot homicide detective who gets transferred over the bridge to the run down city of Snowtown. This is one of the rare titles that have it all: great storytelling that is both humorous and serious, and fantastic art that is alluring and repulsing.

The series is produced using a 9 panel grid. When reading it's clear that this format creates some limitations on the writing. At times the book reads choppy and by the time you're done with an issue, while more than satisfied, one can't help but wonder what more the story could have been. That being said, the writing is still beyond the majority of what's out there, and to top it off, each story is based on some real-life event. Yes, even issue #1... You'll see ;) Not enough can be said for the art which complements the real life, gritty feel of the title.

Throughout the series Templesmith has been consistent. While most titles' interior art takes a back seat, FELL's interiors are a spot on match to their sharp and crisp covers. With the detail that comes only from graphic design, Templesmith's multimedia approach is nearly flawless and completely his own. He is the perfect match for conveying the nihilistic sarcasm Ellis creates for Snowtown.

The one major flaw with FELL is the scheduling, with up to six months passing between issues. Balancing this out is the fact that each issue is self contained, ready for new and veteran readers alike to pick up from. So take my word for it, you don't want to wait for the next volume to be released before you pick up this 5 time Eisner award nominee!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Sold ME ;) Very good review and yes, totally intrgued!
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