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Dark Mists: Kuroi Kiri #4

Posted: Friday, August 4, 2006
By: Caryn A. Tate



Writer: Annika Eade
Artist: Yishan Yi (pencils & colors)

Publisher: Markosia


After reading another of Markosiaís comics, The Lexian Chronicles, I was hoping Dark Mists: Kuroi Kiri would follow the formerís lead and provide creative, refreshing entertainment and great art. But on the contrary, itís been a while since I read a comic that I disliked this much.

Itís not that I went in to this issue with any real preconceived ideas of what it should be like. I just wanted a good, solid comic, hopefully with a well told story and interesting characters. These are basic necessities I expect in any comic.

But I found the script to be typically awkward and undeveloped; for instance, the emphasis on certain words in the dialogue often seemed to be incorrect: On page 2, a character named Mikoto is speaking, and he says, ďIt was an accident," and in another panel, Kimi (the main character) says, ďThere is so much more.Ē Often, I found myself thinking that the dialogue wasnít executed the way people actually speak. It typically doesnít contain much emotion, instead being delivered very stiffly.

The storyline was somewhat tiresome, which I was a little surprised by (considering Iím a big fan of samurai and other classically Japanese stories, I hoped that I would be at least fairly satisfied with the storyline in this comic). It is a tale of vengeance, yes; but rather than being exciting, full of passion, and pulling me into the story, I felt fairly bored with it. This may be caused mainly by the fact that there was so little characterization that I didnít really care about what happened to these characters. While Kimi was sad in some parts, and Mikoto was heartbroken, and then Kimi was angry, none of this effectively revealed any part of their characters or personalities to me. Without that, Iím probably not going to become emotionally involved in the story, and I also probably wonít care that Kimi is sad.

Aside from the lack of characterization, though, there was a part in this issue where Kimi does something that is, frankly, unbelievably stupid. Itís impossible for me to tell the details of this action without spoilers, but the bottom line is that if we are supposed to like (or at the very least sympathize with) the main character, this isnít the best way to go about it.

The art, while not bad at all, felt uninspired. Both the pencils and the colors were very cold, and that may have been the intent, but rather than evoke an emotion in me, it only served to distance me further from the comic. I wonder if Yishan Yi had someone else color his work I would like his pencils better.

I am reluctant to write such a negative review of any comic, so I re read this issue a few times to see if there was anything positive that I could say about it. I did find one: this issue does reveal the efforts of the writer, in particular, and I hope that Annika Eade will rise above what she has done here. I believe she has it in her. There is an undercurrent of talent and ideas in this story, despite all of the negative aspects of it, and I hope to see her progress as a writer and storyteller.



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