The swirls of Box 13

Box 13 is the new iPhone-only (right now at least) comic from David Gallaher and Steve Ellis.  So far, there are three issue's of it up on Comixology's iPhone app and all have been impressive.  With each issue, I start out thinking I know what the book is going to be about but, by the end of the short chapter, anything I thought of is completely out the window as I'm sucked into the unknown.  Where Gallaher and Ellis are going, I have no idea but I'm enjoying the ride.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been glued to my copy of their High Moon, the collection of the first three “seasons” of their Zuda webcomic.  I was a bit disappointed with how the first Zuda collection Bayou looked.  The colors came out muted and a bit dark.  Again, with High Moon, the collection came out looking different than the web comic but I think I like how the book looks.  You can see the shades and subtleties in Ellis' coloring better in the book.  There's a lot more texture built by the colors in the book that I think make it a better experience than it is on the computer screen (and it's a dang fine experience on the computer screen to begin with.)

Box 13 is a completely different experience than High Moon.  Both creators have changed up their approach to this new story so that Box 13 reads as something completely new.  The 3rd issue was just released and the first page of it is incredible.  The 8 panel page really sucks the reader into the story.  From the explosive splash of the main character jumping into water to the next two panels where we just see the ripples of the splash down, Gallaher and Ellis take their time with this story.  Gallaher gives Ellis the space to tell the story, letting the images just show us what's happening.  I love how almost every panel is shown from a different horizontal angle like we, the audience, are being rocked back and forth by the water.  It keeps us as disoriented as the character is. 

Between Box 13 and High Moon (and even The Silencers, Ellis' earlier work with Fred VanLente,) I'm not able to pin down what his style is exactly.  There are parts of Box 13 which look like Becky Cloonan to me (that fourth panel) but I haven't recognized any Cloonan in High Moon, which reads more like an old Warren magazine horror/supernatural story.  Box 13 owes as much to the Wachowski Brothers right now as it does to Cloonan, with its Matrixy-style mysteries of what's real and what isn't.  At least, that's where I thought it was going after the first issue.  Now, I'm not too sure.  All I know is that thanks to Comixology, I'm starting to look as forward to Thursdays as I am to Wednesdays thanks to Box 13 (which happens to be free.)

Posted via email from Wednesdays Haul’s posterous

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2 comments for “The swirls of Box 13

  1. October 29, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Glad to hear you like Box 13! It’s a real ride….!

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