Area 51: The Helix Project #1
Pocket Watch Press 2021
Created & Written by Trevor Fernandes-Lenkiewicz
Illustrated by Marcelo Splaza
Coloured by Marco Freir
Lettered by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios
A Long Way Down
Kent Armstrong passes for human during his day to day life, resenting every moment of it. He despises the very thing that makes him special, living his life by the standards of a dead man. When Kent is contacted by the mysterious M, his life gets turned upside down. With the ghosts of his past hot on his trail and his sense of identity falling apart at the seams, he'll have to figure out what's worth fighting for and what's not. Meanwhile, how does the secret government Helix Project factor into all this? Take the journey with Kent and find out…
I happened to be on Kickstarter and this was a book that was recommended for me so I checked it out and thought it sounds interesting and the interiors here looked really good so I backed it. I highly recommend that you get on Kickstarter and browse the offerings you’d be surprised by which creators are there publishing their own stuff. Anyway, I got the first three issues in the mail and I am mightily impressed with this series already.
I am a fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are presented exceedingly well. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job in establishing the personalities that we see. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages introducing us to the characters, the story and the world they live in we are transported to another time and place and it makes us want to discover more.
I am pretty bloody impressed with the way that this is being structured and how we see the layers within the story begin to emerge and grow. I am also liking the way that we see the layers within the story open up new avenues to be explored. We touch on a lot of things in this introduction so hopefully things will be explored more as the series progresses, regardless, what this does is add some great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is impeccably handled.
The interiors here are absolutely bloody mindbogglingly brilliant and I’ve not heard of Marcelo or seen his work before this, that I know of. So it is exciting to see someone come along and provide this level & quality in their attention to detail as the linework is incredibly strong, the varying weights and techniques are magnificently rendered. How we see backgrounds being utilised to enhance and expand the moments as well as how they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show an amazing eye for how colour works.
This is an exceptional book with smart intelligent writing and some stellar characterisation wrapped up in the bloody brilliant interiors. It is books like this that are the reason I tell you to peruse artists alley at cons or check out Kickstarter because the industry has some massive talent that has yet to be discovered.