Elements of Light (Issues #1 & #2)
Writer: Tyrone Selby
Artist: Krishna & Balram Banajeree
Publisher: Spark-Flow Studios, LLC
“Verum is a world far beyond and far different from our own. A harsh terrain where the seas foam with monstrous leviathins. where the forests grow wild into the crystalline skies, and the deserts harbor great kingdoms inhabited by vibrant, hostile races of creatures and peoples.”
Thus began the description we were given for Elements of Light, an independent comic by writer & creator Tyrone Selby.
In a world where magic exists and can do everything from cure disease to eradicate armies, we were hoping to be treated to a vibrant and fun read, with exciting visuals and a compelling story.
What we got was…not that. That being the case, I’ll just share with you my thoughts and those of the rest of the management team here at PCU, rather than do our standard review.
First, the writing. The first two issues of this story were, as one of our staff put it, “an unpleasant read.” Not only was the writing one-dimensional and rife with spelling and punctuation errors, but the kerning was such that some of the letters ran together and made some of it difficult to understand. The story is semi-cohesive at best, and the characters didn’t really make a lot of sense. There is literally a doctor character who seems to know less than her hot-headed and impulsive assistant (love interest?).
Speaking of the doctor character (Monroe, is her name), we’ve got a beef here. In every panel she’s in – even though it’s the art that we hated the least – there’s a weirdly 2000s attempt to highlight the ridiculousness of her outfit, complete with exposed thong & what one of our team has dubbed “cartoon bosomry”. It makes one feel like, if you followed where her breasts were pointing in each panel, you may find hidden content.
This brings us to the panels themselves… Asymmetrical panels are a great way to enhance a couple of scenes, or add gravitas to character interaction. However, when the majority of the panels in a book aren’t rectangular or offset in some way, it becomes jarring to the eye and throws off the flow for the reader(s). There were actually times when I had to go back to the top of a few pages and start again, just so I could ensure that my brain was comprehending the sequence of events.
Now we come to the art. This, as I mentioned earlier, was the part of these books that we hated the least. The humanoid characters in Elements of Light are well-drawn and the indoor environments are shaded pretty well. Krishna & Balram Banajeree were able to capture some good emotion in the faces of each character, as well as a good sense of movement and anatomy (as we alluded to above). However, that’s about where the good points of the art end for me. The rest of the book feels one-note. The desert environment feels empty, but not in the way a desert should. There’s just not enough to it. Even the kingdom where these characters live feels drab, flat, and devoid of the small details that could’ve given it so much life.
We’ve previously talked about reviewing indie comics in the past, and the difficulties we have in doing so. Personally, I think I have the same issue as Adam did when he wrote that piece, in that I tend to lean too positive in my reviews of comics, games, movies, TV, etc. I try to look for the good in these things, as they’ve been a passion of mine for so long. Still, this was one of those times that I could not find enough good to warrant reading another issue of this comic again.
I’m giving the first and second issues of Elements of Light a disappointing 2 out of 5 Ferals.