The female character-strong fantasy saga Isola returns this week from creators Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl and Msassyk #6, and we pick up immediately where we left off from the last issue. Olwyn, after a brief time inhabiting her human form, has once again returned to being a tiger in order to save her life, with Captain Rook close at hand.
No nearer to the fabled Isola, Rook and Olwyn have to keep their heads down and keep out of sight. Something that could prove problematic given that Rook’s first plan of action is to steal into a nearby military camp. And in broad daylight, no less!
It’s another beautiful looking book as Karl Kerschl and Msassyk weave their own form of magic on the art and create a reading experience that wonderfully fuses element of Eastern myths, legends and fairytales with Western ones. They create a Studio Ghibli influenced world that is both familiar and exotic and, at times, exaggerated as is the way with much fantasy. It all goes into creating a sustainable, coherent world that must have been some time in the making. Decades, even, according to the creators, and it shows.
As has been established in the previous issue, dreams should never be ignored in this series, being shown to be transformative, prophetic, and powerful. Olwyn is met by a vision of her mother before being rudely interrupted mid-flow. Surely we haven’t heard the last from this particular vision, but the inclusion of such dream visions further add to the ethereal quality that the book aesthetically embraces.
Brenden Fletcher’s gently-paced script here allows each part of the world of Maar Rook and Olwyn pass through on their journey to Isola to breath and to be admired by the reader, and as this new chapter opens up, we have yet another new corner of Maar to explore. And the hint of new characters too.
Isola #6 is a welcome return of one of my favourite titles of last year and, if you’re lucky, you can also pick up a copy of the Isola Prologue, originally serialised in Motor Crush, and also available to read for free online. But, there’s nothing better than having a floppy copy in your hand, if you ask me. Ask you LCBS for more if you pop by this week. I know I will be.
Isola #6 is out Wednesday the 16th of January from Image Comics.