AREA CC by A. Degen
Let me begin by saying that this is by far one of the best advanced real estate adventure comics I have read in recent memory. No… but seriously?!?
I had been highly anticipating reading this book for several months, as it began gathering hype here on Tumblr and the preview images started floating around. In retrospect, I’m not sure what I was expecting out of this book, but it certainly flipped up and served anything I could have preconceived, and I mean that in a really good way.
First off, and I hope this isn’t too revealing to those who haven’t read it yet, but Mr. Degen (AD for short herewith) completely NAILS translating the video game experience into comics… in the way that you wish they could actually make a cool Super Mario Bros movie, but know it’s kind of impossible to do since it’s a just a guy constantly running and jumping and dealing with obstacles and puzzles, etc? Well, AD accomplishes it here, in the language of comics —although I have no idea if this was necessarily inspired by or meant to reflect the video game experience… to me this would be the perfect, non-fanboy-disappointing adaptation of Area CC the video game.
AD’s fluid style, and prodigious talent for clearly expressing his flow of narrative within a system of complex multi-tiered action sequences make for a seamless read. I love that he tackles the comics wordlessness so aptly. There’s no struggle to tell what’s going on, and the few times when I was given pause, it was only a moment before I got it and thought, ‘oh shit, that’s cool”, then moved on. AD’s level/chapter themes, objects, patterns, cast of characters, secret codes(?), etc. just add to the intrigue.
I love ‘silent’ or wordless comics like this, and in this case, the absence of dialogue perfectly compliments the tension of the book. I don’t know that there is a genre or label, or even a fair availability of English vocabulary words to draw from that would properly describe exactly what AD brings to the comics world’s table here… I just know I’m glad I got my hands on a copy… and if you haven’t already, you should do the same.
An excellent move by upstanding publisher SNAKEBOMB COMIX to bring this to the world, and I can only hope that they follow suit with some of AD’s other extremely promising unpublished work (nudge, nudge).