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‘1 Night On Earth:’ Comic Book Review

The cover for 1 Night On Earth is compelling to say the least, with gritty, faded newsprint text and an image of a woman manning a jackhammer, a night cityscape behind her. This is no ordinary construction worker, however. The cover looks more like a cover for America’s Next Top Model, where they have taken a strikingly gorgeous woman and grunged her up, safety goggles around her neck, tousled hair blowing in the wind, tight, little white top, holding a jack hammer with her chin angled to the side, as she stares piercingly into the distance. In my imagination, the cameraman lays on the ground in front to capture this shot. All of this with the comic’s promise of “5 cities. 5 Stories. 1 Night.” The message is cryptic, yet direct, and still illusive. For me? Alluring. This cover made me want to know - what’s inside? What secret, mysterious stories await my discovery?

Once the comic is opened, the treats keep coming in visual splendor. Each of the five stories has its own artist, colorist, and letterer giving them each a very unique look. The story "Hong Kong" is minimalist in nature, focusing on lines and sketches, the colors are hues of muted blues aside from a couple sightings of brown or red in a letter, musical instrument, or plant - signs of life. The world seems to be in a dreamlike state, in decay. "San Salvador" has a Cuban club feel with swirls for gold, red, and blue softened around the edges. No matter where the characters are, the balls of color follow them and highlight their own features. They themselves are rounder and more fully shaded than in Hong Gong, however, everything still has a diffused look to it, as if under a photographer’s lens. You can tell that the story "Miami"takes place in Miami just from the colors and artwork. Everything is neon right off the bat: neon yellow and orange, classic Miami. Then, it moves to fuchsia, purple, and turquoise. Bright, bold colors with mob-like sketches reminiscent of classic gangster reels. "Los Angeles" offers a Silicon Valley/Japanime feel that seems a little confused, while "Sydney" focuses more on word bubbles and facial expressions to tell the story, sometimes with just a giant, angry face and a couple of large, bold words to make a point.

Unfortunately, the only thing that seems to tie these stories together is the fact that the artwork often reflects some stereotypes of the cities' culture that the story is named after, but that is where it stops. Nothing really ties back to the amazing initial image in the cover or explains why we are following these five stories. Also, each story is told in a different style and, more often than not, feels fragmented and without purpose or direction. I loved that writer Giulie Speziani created a soundtrack for each story but wish that specific instructions where included as to where in each story the tracks are used, without which I was unable to enjoy this innovative idea. What started as a really imaginative and ambitious journey left me a little confused and disappointed. Maybe a second edition would clarify and continue the storyline. It is my hope that eventually Speziani will be able to find a way to connect these stories, otherwise, they aren’t strong enough individually to stand on their own.



1 Night On Earth
Cover Artist: Giovanna Terrone

"Hong Kong"
Art by: Shari Chankhamma

"San Salvador
"
Pencils/Inks by: Anissa Espinosa
Colors by: Kerri Aitken
Letters by: Roxy Polk

"Miami
"
Pencils by: Francine Delgado
Inks by: Coleen Allen
Colors by: Janessa Douglas
Letters by: Kuen Tang

"Los Angeles
"
Pencils/Inks by: Sarah Elkins
Colors by: Jules Rivera
Letters by: April Brown

"Sydney"

Pencils, Inks, Letters by Jennifer Weber
Colors by Kimberly Anne Black

Last modified on Sunday, 19 January 2014 00:09