Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Comic/Graphic Novel Review: Hopeless

Before I get into this review I just want to mention I am new to the graphic novel/comic experience.  Well... yes, new.  I've had some touches of it as my brother collected graphic novels, or as I call them comic books, all through childhood and into adulthood.  He actually even drew some of his own (very good ones if I might add), but living in an area where there is no publishers for it, didn't get his break into drawing for a company. (Real shame as he has a talented hand and mind.)

So, I hope I have done well in this review for you and not gave to much away.

By:  Tom Brown and Bryn Colvin

Published:  Not yet in print, BUT is available online for you to read and follow

 Format:  Online read

 Recommendation:  Yes, if you enjoy dark and magical found in the way of graphic novel.

 Synopsis from Site:
Demons  is more like a conventional comic in terms of structure and layout. It begins with the witch Annamarie Nightshade visiting a gothic house, and finding an abandoned child. Annamarie takes the girl home with her, but Salamandra’s display of wild magic convinces her they won’t be living together. Instead, Salamandra is sent to the Pallid Rock Orphanage, where she does not fit in and is not happy. Rather than accept her circumstances, she runs away. Meeting an odd, beribbonned girl, Sal sees her new friend’s hideout, and then visits her own home. There, she has a run in with a demon. The girls attempt to leave the island, and fail. Salamandra is found by Frampton Jones, and returned to the orphanage, where she learns that her sneaking out may have contributed to the death of Miss Calder.

First Sentence:
Who in Hopeless can remember when they last felt the sun's warmth on their skin?
My Review and Summary:
This comic takes place in a town called Hopeless.  Hopeless is an island off the coast of Maine where the sun doesn't shine.  Only fog and dreariness is present in this town that leaves its children parent-less.  Why?  That's what the comic story starts to explain.  There are things... demons in the town of Hopeless.

Salamandra, a young little girl, is found alone in her home by Annamarie.  Annamarie realizes Salamandra can not stay with her, so takes Salamandra to the local orphanage where all the parent-less children are.  Shortly upon settling in at the orphanage Salamandra realizes she is different from the other children, and deciding she would rather be alone... then runs away.  In doing so she meets another little girl.  Who is this little girl wanting to be Sal's friend?  I don't trust her.  I think she is more than what we realize.  Salamandra is a special, magical little girl.  Could she be the one to save Hopeless from the demons and bring the light back to a dark little island?  I have a few questions about Salamandra, and look forward to learning about her.

I enjoyed looking at the images in this comic.  The images are completed as if the comic is printed.  They are black and white, or grey, with just touches of color at the right points to draw your eye.  And the color even gives the eerie feel to the scene - making me wonder what will jump from the shadows.  Every few scenes you do see creatures, or maybe demons, lurking in the shadows.  I have to say my favorite to look at are the eyes of the characters.  I really like how they pop out to me and the look in the expressions of them.

I want to mention this comic is still a work in progress. By this I mean the drawings are complete with the story, but the story is not completely posted yet. There is at least one page of the comic added each week.

If you would like to stop by the site and read along with the comic, click here. Scroll down to categories and click on Chapter one.  Go to the end of the posts and start reading.  The nice thing of this site is you can click on the first picture to enlarge it to screen size.  Then when you are done with that page you can click the next button to get the next page on your screen, full size.  There is also another comic story for you to read as well, The Blind Fisherman.


  1. I'm kind of on the fence about graphic novels. I actually own a few...Watchmen, Lock and Key by Joe Hill, Stardust by Neil Gaiman...but I haven't really read any of them. I started Watchmen, but put it down. Not sure if I was not liking it or just not interested because I already saw the movie. I haven't given up though. I loved comics as a child. I used to read Vampirella and the Archie comics a lot. This one sounds like it might be worth a look. Great review!

  2. I have a weird relationship with graphic novels, too.Well, except for Sandman which I loooooooove!This one looks very interesting,too.I'll surely check it out!

  3. Michelle - I enjoyed reading this comic. And it was quick easy reading. It was nice after all the heavy books I've been reading lately. And with the comic not being completely on line yet, I get emails of each page when they post them. So it comes to me when its up and I don't have to try to remember going back all week waiting. :) Hope you enjoy it.

    AtenRa - I hope you enjoy this comic. It was nice to read it and not be as heavy as some of the books I have read. And since it's not completely up on line yet, you can click to set up to email you the pages as they are posted. It is nice, I just got the first email. Cool. :)

  4. I also really enjoy this comic, though it's vary different from everything else that I read. The only graphic novel that I've read si far is Neal Gaimen's Coraline, and that scared the heck out of me. I think this one will make a great book, especially with the beautiful images.

  5. Oh, I'll have to check this one out. Love that cover, so I'm sure I'll love the rest of the artwork. Thanks for the link! :)

  6. Simcha - I first heard of this comic through your blog. I really not read any comics. Just a few years ago that were my brothers, but that was not many. I look forward to seeing where they go with comic.

    Melissa - I hope you enjoy the comic. I really enjoyed the artwork. :)


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