"All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream."
-Edgar Allan Poe, "A Dream Within a Dream"
Black Cloud from Image Comics
Lately, I've been buying comics on a whim. Or perhaps not a whim, rather based on the cover art. I know, I know. Don't judge a book by it's cover. Butttt.... I think I've been striking gold on these buys recently. Also, since the art is an important component of comic books, the cover art is fair game.
Black Cloud was one of these buys. Pastel pink, interesting bold blocky letters, and a womanholding a lightening sword. I mean that pretty much checks all my "awesome" boxes.
The first issue arrived in early April. I bought it, read it that day, and was hooked.
Black Cloud is weird. Let me just put that out there.
I've learned with comics that weird can be a really great thing, but the story arc and background information may take awhile to get there. So, that means as the dedicated fan that you are, you have to be in for the long haul. Or drop it and move on with you life. At least that's been my game plan for the last year or so.
The story follows Zelda Barrett. She appears to be a young women (though with this kind of story who knows maybe she's ancient). Zelda is from another world and can travel between what seems to be our world and a world of dreams where there are talking animals in bars... Zelda markets her talent as a escape from reality for privileged rich kids. But there's also a force that Zelda is running from. After two issues it's clear that despite the whimsical nature of some of the scenes there's a darker under tone that will be revealed in time.
I'm going to leave it at that for the summary because I think it's something that should be read and I don't want to give any spoilers away!
The art and writing here is great. I mean look at that art and coloring above! It's fantastic! I love the black and white world contrasted with the main character in in vivid, perhaps even garish colors. Zelda's character design is wonderful. She could easily have been designed as white but is not, which I love.
And there's just enough detail and world building to leave you wanting more without showing the reader all the cards. By the second issue there are more events developed to show where the story is going but also more scenes alluding to Zelda's past. Again I think the balance between cliffhangers and details is very good.
Overall, this is a great point to jump on at if you're interested. Or since it's Image, the first trade paperback should be out in the near future and you can pick it up for a very reasonable price. Image is knocking it out of the park per usual.