Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Review: Whiteout

One of my favourite things about comic books is how versatile they are; how they can be super hero comics, horror comics, romance comics or even textbooks about comics. Although my favourites tend to be fantasy and horror comics, I am a huge fan of a well done story. Today we'll look at one of my favourite graphic novels of the last two decades, Whiteout.

First off, when I say graphic novel, that's what I mean - it is not a collection of issues of an ongoing title (I have a lot of those I love as well, so I wanted to make this distinction at the start), so it has the benefit of having a clear beginning, middle and end.

My first impression of the story is how visually impressive it is; it takes place at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, is a murder mystery with a time limit (the murderer will likely be off continent in 3 days), and has an incredible main character in U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko.

Carrie is definitely one of my favourite characters in comic books - I just find that she has a very distinctive voice as well as a lot of personal depth. Plus she is very good at her job.

Part of what I like best about the story is the fact that there is a lot of obvious work being put into it by both the writer and the artist, I've read a lot of Greg Rucka before (His run on Gotham Central may have been my favourite Batman title in a really long time), and Steve Lieber's artwork is really, really good; considering his subject is a location with a lot of white and very little shadow, I was simply blown away by the way he conveyed the vastness and loneliness of Antarctica.

The comic does have a sequel, Whiteout: Melt, which I also strongly recommend, and was adapted into a movie in 2009 - I haven't seen it yet, but apparently it went in it's own direction. This comic is really great, and if you haven't tried the works of Greg Rucka before, it is an excellent place to start.

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