‘ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times’ – Advance Comic Book Review

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And, corpses.

Andrew MacLean has given us a real treat with his first graphic novel. Following a young woman going about the business of surviving the ruins of an empire, keeping out of site from the gangs laying into each other, and calling only a cat named Jelly Bean friend, MacLean weaves a poetic and engaging tale that soars in its simplicity and surprising depth.

We meet our protagonist rolling through the remains of Armageddon, where the natural world has begun to reclaim the advanced civilization that sought to control it for so long. A quiet, peaceful stroll, seemingly without care, takes her past the resources she needs to survive in this landscape, keeping a song in the air and eyes on the world. We are greeted with the loneliness and danger of this world soon enough and become thoroughly entranced by it. MacLean's vision elevates this from being any other doomsday tale; there's hope and life here, with only a passing sadness at the world that was, the feeling of reading an ancestor’s difficult life in a past you've never known. With an indomitable spirit and emotional maturity, Aria faces her world and her task with singular grit and "come what may" attitude.

The art style is reminiscent of Adventure Time or Samurai Jack, where incredible amounts of information and meaning can be found in each panel. The style helps encourage the laid-back sensation that covers the true depth of thought in the work. Action is handled well, and in several ways to better tell the full arc of the story. At no point does anything feel unnecessary or cluttered; each panel is deliberate and only adds to the overall story.

What amazes me the most about this work is that sense that the story has no extra baggage; each moment, each image, and every beat feels completely intentional. At no point does it feel like another trope is laid in to connect the points MacLean wants to emphasize, every moment feels natural and necessary, which makes it an incredibly rewarding experience for me. If you are a fan of Samurai Jack, Adventure Time, Oblivion, or Mad Max, you're going to enjoy this work.


Share the stories that move you.

Last modified on Monday, 31 December 2018 21:57

Go to top