Welcome to another comicbook review and we will dive on two Balsamus books from Brazilain artist and writer Karolyne Rocha and Brainy Pixel. Both books are short having 12 and 16 pages respectively, that’s why we will review them in one post.
Cover Art: The two heroes (?) of Balsamus graces both issues, one having a bust portrait and the second issue the full body. Although it doesn’t give away the story or adventure they’re in but by just looking at it the drawing, it’s definitely manga. It’s not manga inspired, it 100% manga. Once you go to each issues, you’ll admire Rocha’s story. The black and white interiors, the vibe and Rocha’s treatment of the characters are legit manga. Line this comic with what Viz Media or Tokyopop are dishing out, you’ll never notice the difference. Plus the aesthetic of having dents on the cover making the comic look like old adds the awesomeness.
Summary: In The Lost Lamb, we see a family waiting for their father to come as a sand storm rages. As the boy Joshua failingly chases a lamb, his older brother calls him and told him a story of old. It’s a story of kings, warriors and princes. A big adventure which the boy got hooked on. It’s also a story of redemption. As for Chapter 1: The Watchers, we see the main characters of the story on the horizon, looking at a big city. In the camp, the stubborn brother ate all their supplies. Annoyed, the other brother goes to sleep still thinking of the city and what he is planning to do.
Storytelling: The first issue is a well done origin story. I don’t know what’s with the introduction of a shepherd family but I think it’s a set up for future issues or it will be a story of break or will add commentaries to the adventure. That too much of speculation but it’s a good one to employ to springboard to the main story. As for the main or should I say origin story for this issue, I love Rocha’s imagination. She created a myth of a story that it might really be found in Middle Eastern cultures. So I don’t want to spoil this issue but I can say it’s amazing. Of course it’s has a cliffhanger of an ending but still it satisfies me. Rocha really has something with words as she end the book.
As for the second issue where we meeting the main characters, compare to the first one, it’s a good narrative. It nudge a little on the plot and gave us a little bit who the two brothers are and how they interact. If you find this series a bit serious, getting to know one of the brothers will assure you that it is not. The stubborn and seriousness clashing each other will bring some depth to future issues of the series. In the mean while, that’s what you’ll expect in this issue. I don’t want to say it’s a filler issue but it pales in comparison with the first issue which is just an origin story. If your a completist kind of comicbook reader, you’ll still read this.
Artwork: What you’ll expect from a manga, you’ll find it here. Just what I have said, this is not an inspired, nor pretending to be manga art. The artwork can go head to head with any manga or any comicbook out there. This is considering Rocha is not yet showing what she can unleash. I hope this artist will be under the radar of comic companies out there.
Brainy Pixel struck gold for taking Karolyne Rocha’s creation under their wing. The artwork and storytelling makes you have that shut up and take my money moment. I admire her of what see can accomplished in a few pages. Although the second issue didn’t sit well to me, this is a manga that deserves to be in your reading list.
Balsamus: The Lost Lamb – 5 out of 5
Balsamus: Chapter 1: The Watchers – 4 out 5
Get your copy of these comicbooks here.
(Brainy Pixel Productions provided a digital copies for this review)
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