SHUTTER has my attention with its opening -- there's a sort of Wes Anderson aesthetic to the first couple of pages (It's probably the wallpaper. And maybe the fact that a character calls the moon "boring."), and I'm into it.
I'm also into the supremely weird things that show up in nearly every scene; from alarm cats to casually-nesting pterodactyls, this book is entirely unexpected in its aesthetic. I have to wonder how Kate Kristopher can even tell what's ordinary and what isn't -- how does that adventurer thing work when it seems like everything is weird, all the time? -- but that's a big part of why SHUTTER is so fascinating. The title, too, is intriguing; it's clear that the camera is important, but we aren't quite sure why yet.
Leila Del Duca fits right in as an Image artist; SHUTTER immediately has a style of its very own, juxtaposing an incredible attention to fine detail with sweeping, free brush strokes. There's a lot going on, but all of the weird, wild characters and background oddities feel composed and at-home.
I've no doubt that the story is headed in interesting directions -- there's a lot seeded in this first issue that hints at wild adventure and a very unique world -- but this first issue seems to be missing some focus. There are a lot of elements competing for page space when a series is brand new; the world is being established, characters are being introduced and asking for our attention, and there's that delicate tango between "in media res" and "origin story." It's a tough balance to strike, and I think it'll take a few issues before SHUTTER reveals what it's really about.
I'm a little bit disappointed by the way this issue wraps; for a series so loaded with opportunities to be different, the hook seems very standard. I'm hoping to be surprised with the way that plays out.
SHUTTER is one of those titles that refuses to be categorized concisely; it's an adventure story, for sure, but it also begs for genre descriptions as expansive and mysterious as the world that Keatinge and Del Duca have just introduced. There are bits of sci-fi, bits of action, bits of coming-of-age-drama, bits of surrealism; it's a stew of creativity, and we'll have to hang on for a few more issues before we can really pin down a snappy tagline for this one.