Strange things are happening in the city of Regaia. Mysterious attacks at night, people disappearing, and a Vigilante who–by rights–should not exist. Max is determined to get to the bottom of things–no matter who stands in her way. Unfortunately, that “who” is Rei, the peculiar boy from out-of-town who is determined to help Max, in spite of her protests. But could there be more to Rei than meets the eye?
Cielle has created a story about a mysterious vigilante who is capturing criminals. Only a few things are known about this vigilante, and no one seems to know who he is. Sound familiar? Maybe because all famous comic book vigilantes start out this way: Batman, Daredevil, Green Arrow –the list goes on.
When creating a story that has basically been done before, what can you do to make the story stand out and have that iconic character that people will recognize and remember? Well, being famous certainly helps, but let’s say that you are your average Joe down the street (and not Stan Lee). How do you compete?
I’m not sure there is really a good answer here (or one answer for that matter). Luck? The right connections? Hours and hours of hard work? It could be a number of factors that help your comic take off. But now I’m rambling. My point is, I think Reus could have the ability to stand out –but not in its current state. Let me break down why.
Reus has a really solid storyline. It is clear right from the beginning what is going on and where the plot is heading. This is incredibly refreshing to have a story that is so black and white in this sense. However, this should also be taken with a grain of salt as this much clarity right off the bat can cause a very predictable plot if it isn’t laid out properly. At this point in time, it is hard to tell if the plot will be predictable since there is not enough content to have a really concrete idea of where the story is going.
Another factor is the humour. Reus is filled to the brim with hilarious little side comments and exaggerations that get you chuckling. I have a weak spot for sarcasm and Cielle certainly didn’t waste any opportunities to throw some in.
One thing that was thrown in too often, though, was the commentary (or narration). There were points throughout the comic that did not need to be narrated –it was clear enough on its own to tell us what was going on. By adding the extra commentary, Cielle has taken away from the experience of interpreting a scene. Most of the scenes are easily interpreted, and yet the commentary was there, basically telling the reader what was going on and what they should be thinking in that particular moment. I’m not a big fan of being told what to think. I thoroughly enjoy interpreting art for myself, and I love it when creators refuse to explain why they did something one way besides another.
Looking more closely at the writing style, Cielle does a great job creating a story that reads well and carries smoothly through each page.
This is also translated through the page layout that Cielle uses. Layout of a page can influence how a comic reads. Reus has a clean page layout which complements the writing nicely.
The one issue I really have with the writing is the amount of speech in some scenes. The speech bubbles can become quite bunched and overwhelm the page at times. It would be best to either break up the pages to lessen the clutter, or minimize the amount of speech.
Along with this is the issue that there are some conversations that seem a bit unnecessary. Eliminating speech that is unimportant to the plot could help declutter a page.
Finally, art. The art is the area that needs the most improvement as Cielle seems to thrive in the writing department.
The first thing that I noticed was how large the characters’ heads were, and how tiny their hands were in comparison. It was a little distracting and kind of created a comical vibe to the comic –even in the more serious scenes.
That being said, Cielle’s art improved as the pages progressed, and the big head/little hands issue seemed to be addressed (for the most part).
Reus also has some fantastic backgrounds. Unfortunately, most of the time there isn’t a detailed background, but just a close-up shot of the characters with a solid colour behind them –maybe with some effects added.
I think that Cielle has made great improvements in her art so far, but I also think there is a lot of room for even more. She is on her way to fantastic places.
Overall, I think Reus has amazing potential and can become a great story. I look forward to seeing where Cielle takes the story and the characters.
There is some need for enhancement in the artwork along with some writing layout issues, all of which will probably be addressed as Cielle advances in her work (based off her current rate of improvement).
You can read Reus by Cielle here.