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Review: Okko- The Cycle of Air #2

Take a journey to feudal Japan...


Take a journey to feudal Japan in this incredibly crafted comic...
 

The Good

The first thing I have to mention is the magnificent art work. It has been a long time since I have opened up a comic and thought to myself, "wow, not only does this artist have a fantastic storytelling capability, but he has managed to take my breath away." Seriously. I have not seen pencils this impressive in a long time. Everything from the emotion on the faces of the characters, to the movement of the wind is brilliantly drawn in this comic. The story is set in feudal Japan, I would guess during the middle guess and focuses on a clan of Samurai. The story is split between being fun and light, to serious and ends on a very somber note. The reader will be left wondering how long they will have to wait for the next issue! It is that good!
 

The Bad

The worst I can say about this book is that it is in no way new-reader friendly, which is a surprise considering it's only part two of four. When you are not publishing a comic on a consistent basis it can be difficult for readers to follow. Additionally, a small "indi" company like Archaia does not release issues every Wednesday and should want to do everything in their power to attract new readers. Having said that, I really felt that the writers of this comic should have included some sort of introduction that would brief new readers in the beginning of the book, giving a synopsis of what happened in the last issue and who the characters are. This book should take a lesson from John Layman's "CHEW," which is a perfect example of how to easily make an indi comic accessible to new readers. 
 

The Verdict - 4/5

The fact that this comic is not new-reader friendly is truly a shame. Criticisms aside, reading the second issue will make you want to read the first While it was at times confusing, Okko is a fantastic series and a fun read- this comic will not disappoint! 
5 Comments
Edited by FoxxFireArt

That cover image sure is beautifully done. I love the grass effect. Making that effect is always a pain to me.
Just judging by the cover art you can see how much personality is in it.
 
The only thing about this review that leaves me wondering. You set the stage, but what is the over all plot about? I'm not asking for spoilers. I'm just curious if this is drama or action? Who is the lead and what is this person's goal?

Posted by jakob187

I really enjoyed the issue of Okko that you had sent me in that Archaia care package, but I haven't gotten around to picking anything else up yet!  I want more stuff from Archaia, but my local shop doesn't carry much aside from Mouse Guard (which I have all those) and a couple issues of The Killer (which I've already got all those in The Killer Vol. 1 hardcover).  =  ( 
 
Without a credit card or debit card, it's incredibly difficult to order any of their stuff online.  I'm going to keep trying to get Bankston's to order them for me, but so far, that's been rather difficult.  Everything seems to be on a lengthy backorder.  =  / 
 
Glad to hear the issue was good. 
 
Also, I think you need to do a review for Gunnerkrigg Court Vol. 2!!!  More people should be reading that.  Speaking of which, I'm off to Thomas' website to see if he's got new strips up.
 
@FoxxFireArt: If this is anything like the issue that Babs sent my way, it's about a band of Japanese ronin/samurai/something-or-other that come upon weird situations in their travels.  I think each of the cycles take place during different years as well?  Like I said above, I want to read these, but I just can't get my hands on them. 

Posted by No_Name_
@jakob187:  The next time you go to your local LCS, request that they order you a copy. They should be able to do that for you and place it on hold. Good luck!
Posted by jakob187
@Babs: Yeah, I've tried and tried.  They can order them, but they are on "indefinite back order" for some reason.  Hell, I still haven't gotten my issue #4 of Marvelous Land of Oz...which is KILLING me. 
 
I wonder if Archaia will take those little prepaid credit cards that you can buy at Walgreen's.  I have so much that I want to buy from them:  Tumor, Gunnerkrigg Vol. 2, The Killer Vol. 2, all the Okko volumes...maybe more Awakening if they have more than just Vol. 1 out...   *le sigh* 
 
All I know is that Bankston's said they WILL be carrying the Legends of the Mouse Guard stuff...so that is at least SOME good news.
Posted by Adam Michaels

Okko is a great series. For those that might not know, The Cycle of Air is the third part of a trilogy, which includes The Cycle of Water and The Cycle of Earth. This was originally a European comic from a very popular French publisher: Delcourt. And on top of that, it's written by a very famous writer/artist simply named Hub. I'm from Montreal, and being in a francophone province, French comics are VERY popular here. And I'm happy to have access to innumerable books from there because they have so much awesome stuff. 
 
I'm also happy knowing that publishers like Archaia, and even a powerhouse like Marvel have begun translating French comics, offering non-French speaking readers the chance to enjoy these great stories. I would suggest Okko to anyone.