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Review Group #391 - Burn The Orphanage Born To Lose #1 / Trillium #1

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GHERU

Rain Partier

Postby GHERU » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:40 am

Trillium #1

I have never been that biog of a fan of Jeff Lemire. From what I've read he hides mundane plots and stories behind interesting looking words and situations that, when taken away, do not leave a book with enough substance to hold my attention, let alone interest. The lone exception to this has been instances where I have seen his work in anthologies, where he oly has ~8 pages to tell a story. Usually in these books he is his own artist as well, and maybe that is where he excels, when he has complete control. I enjoyed Trillium #1 more than I expected to, and that is primarily due to his art.

Still not that big of a Lemire fan, but I might pick the rest of this up in trade.

7/10
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GHERU

Rain Partier

Postby GHERU » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:43 am

Burn The Orphanage Born To Lose #1

I picked this up because of Writer/Artist Sina Grace - someone I discovered with L'il Depressed boy, and I kinda wish I hadn't bothered. At no point after the first page of this book did I give two figs about what was happening, why it was happening, and what was coming next. Beyond feeling like I came into the middle of someone else's book, I got the feeling, and this is hard to describe, that the reader was an unwelcome addition to the action.

Action, btw, that all boils down to arrested development and mindless violence.

This book had the potential to be mindless fun, instead it was just mindless.

Art was ok

4/10
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:08 pm

working on my Trillium review currently....
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:58 pm

okay, remember it's been a bit. also, I really wanted to work in something about the mystery behind the markings on the survivor from Morgan's expedition and the ones on Nika.

Also, my notes were almost as long as the review, so there is a lot I didn't cover, but I am not trying to write a thesis....



Trillium #1
Written and with art by Jeff Lemire

Trillium #1 opens with a space crew coming upon what looks like an ancient South American pyramid. The 12 panel grid, used to great effect for most of the book, is brilliantly used here to create the bad transmission effect often used in the space horror picture when a mission goes awry. Right away, it is obvious that this is a special book and different from anything Jeff Lemire, the master behind Sweet Tooth and Essex County, has done before.

Which is interesting given the tropes he works with here - Nika’s story is full of science fiction references, even beyond the mission gone awry and deadly mentioned above. She herself is very similar to Grace, Sigourney Weaver’s native sympathizing anthropologist from Avatar. Technology has moved on, iPads have been replaced by A.I. wristbands which seem to be Siri’s wet dream of functionality and personality and companionship. Then there are more dystopian concepts, a sentient virus in the Caul wiping out and hunting an endangered human race to the edge of the universe.

It is high concept and not only in the flip book aspect of concurrent storylines in different time periods. Nika’s in 3797 and William, the PTSD afflicted veteran looking for the Lost Temple of the Incas in 1921. There are allusions to Chariots of the Gods in Kuka Mama and the drug effects of trillium, the only way to make a vaccine for the Caul, which is unreplicable in the lab. I can see Grant Morrison shaking his fist and crying out “Lemire!” like a writer version of Lex Luthor when I think about the hallucinatory affect that Lemire gives the flower in its raw state.

William’s story alludes to The Land That Time Forgot and Indiana Jones. However, it also parallels Nika’s with the hesitant nature of those around him towards his goal. His spouse’s reaction to his passion correlates to Nika’s A.I.’s incomprehension of her motivations and desires. Both are shown to be impulsive and driven in their dedication to their personal mission. The opening doomed mission in 3797 matches Morgan’s failed attempt at the temple in 1921. Nika’s haunting by her mother is similar to William’s flashbacks from the war.

All of this is given to us in a strong and smart narrative that recalls great work of Graphic Fiction like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or Hellboy. Hell, it is as methodically plotted out in this first issue as Watchmen. Lemire’s art is as impressive as ever. His ability to emote and convey actions through his chunky, chaotic lines is matched by Villarrubia’s tightening colors which appear water color like in some scenes and more like standard comics in others. It gives the book the otherworldly feeling it needs.

The book would be a ten if not for two teeny nitpicks in my opinion. The first is the road map. A few pages into each story, you are told that Nika’s story is Chapter 1 and William’s is Chapter 1.2. I don’t think reading it in the other order would ruin the book, but it is clear from that numbering that Lemire has a plan as to how the story is supposed to unfold. I don’t know if the impact of the story would be lost or not. I do know that fortunately for my compulsive mind, I did read Nika’s side first and will never have to know if I would be angered by reading it in the other order. The second is similarly themed, if I had written the book; I would not have had the last pages face each other on the seam like that. Sure it is a logical conclusion based on what we see in the two stories, but having the reveal be spoiled before I get the other half of the story made its impact less than it could have been.

A brilliant debut worthy of high praise and a look by all fans of the medium.

9/10
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:10 pm

GHERU wrote:Trillium #1

I have never been that biog of a fan of Jeff Lemire. From what I've read he hides mundane plots and stories behind interesting looking words and situations that, when taken away, do not leave a book with enough substance to hold my attention, let alone interest. The lone exception to this has been instances where I have seen his work in anthologies, where he oly has ~8 pages to tell a story. Usually in these books he is his own artist as well, and maybe that is where he excels, when he has complete control. I enjoyed Trillium #1 more than I expected to, and that is primarily due to his art.

Still not that big of a Lemire fan, but I might pick the rest of this up in trade.

7/10

Have you read Essex County or Sweet Tooth? (I have not read his writing work for DC yet, but plan to. The Nobody is the only thing I have read that, in my opinion, meets your criticism of his material. It was a Vertigo GN that is a retelling of the Invisible Man and felt slight and thin.)
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:13 pm

Also, Punchy, nice review, although obviously, I disagree with you on the which side to read first thing. It is not clear from the outside which side you are supposed to read first; but by numbering the Chapters 1 and 1.2, it is obvious which one is intended to be read first.
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:13 pm

I will read the other book sometime soon and get a review in for it.
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GHERU

Rain Partier

Postby GHERU » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:24 pm

thefourthman wrote:Have you read Essex County or Sweet Tooth? (I have not read his writing work for DC yet, but plan to. The Nobody is the only thing I have read that, in my opinion, meets your criticism of his material. It was a Vertigo GN that is a retelling of the Invisible Man and felt slight and thin.)

I've tried to like Sweet Tooth, and well, don't
tried Essex County and it didn't hold my interest
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:28 pm

GHERU wrote:I've tried to like Sweet Tooth, and well, don't
tried Essex County and it didn't hold my interest

fair enough.
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:19 pm

thefourthman wrote:Also, Punchy, nice review, although obviously, I disagree with you on the which side to read first thing. It is not clear from the outside which side you are supposed to read first; but by numbering the Chapters 1 and 1.2, it is obvious which one is intended to be read first.


It was mainly so I could make a joke about sexism :P
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:31 pm

Punchy wrote:
It was mainly so I could make a joke about sexism :P

*Brushes arm across eyebrows*
I saw you had replied and was like, "great another crazy ass argument with the british one."
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:49 pm

Burn The Orphanage: Born to Lose #1
Written by Daniel Freedman and Sina Grace
Art by Sina Grace

On the inside back cover of this comic, or a few pages before the end, I can't be bothered to open this book again (which is telling because I hate to write bad reviews or make it seem like that is what is going down), there is a bio of the creators. I have never read anything by either of these creators and even though I know Lil' Depressed Boy had its followers, there is nothing on display in this book that would make me seek it out or any other book by these two. Worst of all they state that this book came out of a friendship (cool) with a mutual love for video games (obvious since this is Double Dragon, the Comic) and inside jokes (which is maybe why i don't get this comic), etc, ad naseum.

From every stand point, derivative uninspired art, murky coloring, stiff dialogue and the by the numbers plot to the lack of a reason to come back (no serial cliffhanger at all), this is what I would rank as an amateur book. It seems childish, overly testosterone fueled and lifeless.

And that's all I really have to say about this revenge fueled and ultra violent yet still cartoony book. I will not be coming back for issue two, much less the second and third act comic arcs of this turd.

1/10
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:52 pm

It also took me three times to get through one reading of the book. A prolonged shit is the only reason a review exists.
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thefourthman

Outhouse Editor

Postby thefourthman » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:54 pm

GHERU wrote:Burn The Orphanage Born To Lose #1

I picked this up because of Writer/Artist Sina Grace - someone I discovered with L'il Depressed boy, and I kinda wish I hadn't bothered. At no point after the first page of this book did I give two figs about what was happening, why it was happening, and what was coming next. Beyond feeling like I came into the middle of someone else's book, I got the feeling, and this is hard to describe, that the reader was an unwelcome addition to the action.

Action, btw, that all boils down to arrested development and mindless violence.

This book had the potential to be mindless fun, instead it was just mindless.

Art was ok

4/10

The bolded is an apt description of the book.

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