“After many years of travelling, Na’hiraakin returns to his homeworld in order to find some peace and to live with his beloved mate Ma’si……….”

cover

Story

One of Us by Michael Dargo introduces the reader to a unique world with little to no explanation. You are thrown right into the culture and society with no guidelines, and yet it mostly makes sense. Dargo has done an excellent job of creating a society based off of those that we are familiar with, with just a few changes. This is a very effective way of quickly introducing a new concept to readers without needing to explain everything heavily.

That being said, the more I read One of Us, the less I knew. I’m not entirely sure what the plot of this story is yet, and we are already in chapter three. This is a very slow moving comic, filled with more questions than answers. Although I am intrigued about where Dargo will take the characters, I find myself drifting away from the story as there is only so much small talk you can read before you get bored.

Writing

As for the writing, it was a bit of a struggle to get through. There is a very large language barrier at play here. I would highly recommend having the script read by someone who is more fluent in the English language before releasing it publicly. There were some sentences that I wasn’t even entirely sure what the meaning was behind it. This may have also influenced the overall telling of the plot, making it more difficult to understand the direction it was going.

The language barrier mixed with a lot of fluff conversations made it difficult to tell plot important conversations from simple small talk. Try to eliminate any conversations that aren’t vital to the story’s progression.

I also found the speech bubbles to be slightly too small. Although still legible, it would be easier on the reader’s eyes if they were just a tad larger.

small bubbles

The information that I was able to understand and gather from One of Us was very interesting, however. I found their culture fascinating and I’d love to learn more of it as the story progresses. The conversations they carried never directly told of the societal rules, yet the way in which they spoke, both with their body language and with words, demonstrated very clearly what they valued, what embarrassed them, and the mannerisms that were appropriate in that society.

culture

Art

Dargo’s artwork improved with each new chapter. I was very impressed with the unique character designs and expressive colour palettes. The small portion of the world that was shown so far also piqued my interest as it showed a similarly unique quality.

unique character design

The lighting was especially fascinating. Dargo played around with different lighting techniques, and I found it highly rewarding to see shadows caused by trees as one of the main uses of shading and lighting. This is something that is occasionally utilized in comics, but I’ve never seen it used so heavily.

tree lighting

One of Us manages to keep you interested in the artwork by frequently introducing something new. The details added to the characters clothing and jewelry is also stunning. It will be interesting to see if the addition of new clothing and accessories continues in future chapters.

Conclusion

Overall, I think that One of Us by Michael Dargo will continue to improve, just as Dargo has demonstrated already. I am hopeful for a more clearly written script, with few errors in spelling and grammar. I also look forward to the progression of the plot and for a clear direction. I have no doubt that Dargo will continue to improve in his art, which can only help him further grow as a creator.


You can read One of Us by Michael Dargo on Tapastic!