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comics Hipster Hotline

Hipster Hotline: Alone (comic)

Alone 1 - 41 copy

Ever stumble across something by chance, a book, song, TV show, etc., and after enjoying it you knew you had to have more? Instant love. It happens to us all, it’s a wonderful feeling. My most recent experience came from a comic book series called Alone, written by Bruno Gazzotti with art by Fabien Vehlmann. From what I gathered it’s originally a French comic with at least ten volumes released. English websites currently have the first seven volumes translated.

Alone is about five children; Dodzi, Leila, Ivan, Camille, and Terry, seemingly the only people left in their entire city. What happened? Where is everyone? What will they do? Questions asked in any post-apocalyptic story but, like with any story, it’s the execution that matters.

No adults here to bail them out. They have to somehow figures thing out on their own. Fortunately, most of them are resourceful. Dodzi, the mature one due to personal circumstances. Leila, a determined tinkerer. Ivan, the lonely rich kid looking for answers. Camille, the model student slowly coming out of her shell. And, Terry, the youngest, also kinda of a brat. They’re mostly smart kids but still kids. Heck, any adult who gained free reign over a city would enjoy the benefits and our protagonists do just that, a way to have some fun while figuring out what’s going on. It’s a tough balance to pull off but the creators walk that line perfectly. 

Character development is great. We learn more about each kid as they interact with each other, first as strangers then as friends fighting dangers together.  I love seeing Terry doing these crazy things without adult supervision. I won’t go into spoilers but they’re many times when I busted out laughing at what he and the others kids do to during their downtime (One of my favorites is Dodzi’s unexpected but awesome taste in literature.). It’s a perfect blend of dialogue and art. Stuff is always happening whether the characters stop to talk about it or not, giving a sense of an active, living world. Speaking of art…

Love it. I’ve been spoiled as a manga reader. American art is varied but talking only about superhero comics, seeing young people drawn as small adults with basic expressions takes me out the story. Here, the kids look like kids full of expression. It reminds me of the old Smurfs cartoons from the eighties, a style similar to that. You can tell the writer and artist worked closely together to make Alone, ha!

Points to Alone for being a kid story with little immature humor. I’m talking fart jokes and the like. We get our bratty kid moments and there is some immature behavior when it serves a purpose in the story, but Alone NEVER dumbs down the story for the sake of a joke. Everything has a purpose. I found myself ahh-ing and ooh-ing when rereading a volume, finding a subtle hint to what’s about to happening. And, buddy, does stuff happen! This story is slowly building to something amazing, and after reading seven volumes I still don’t know what that is, but the little bit I learn each volume, the more obsessed I get.

One of the best comics I’ve read in years. The highest of recommendation. I beg you to give it a shot. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to fight an overwhelming urge to learn French just to read the later volumes.

By Redgeek

A geek talking about stuff he likes.

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