Book Review: Fallen Idols

Posted by Chris Rosser on Fri 22 June 2018
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A few weeks ago I discovered the graphic novel of local1 writer and artist, Steven Edwards. I got chatting with him on Facebook, through a comments thread about some topic I’ve since forgotten and was interested enough to pick up a copy of his debut comic, Fallen Idols.

I meant to review it in time for my June Newsletter, but between the prelaunch activities for The Weaver’s Boy, and some unexpected alpha reading I did for another author, I didn’t make it. Today, I finally got the chance to read it on my commute home from work.

I should preface this review by stating this is the first comic book I’ve read in over twenty years. While I don’t have a problem with the medium, comics have never really engaged me as a narrative form like books.

So, thus said, here’s my review.

I read the comic on my iPad mini, since I don’t have a Kindle2. Fallen Idols, is a fixed-layout PDF, which I’ve since learnt is commonly used for digital comics. Unfortunately, though no fault of Fallen Idols’ author, the iPad mini with its 8inch screen isn’t a ideal for reading comics. I did quite a bit of squinting at the tiny text and had to put on my glasses.

Fallen Idols is very short — about a fifteen minute read. It promises to be the start of a series. Though the story is brief, it was compelling enough for me to stick with it. It went in a direction I wasn’t really expecting, and I enjoyed this fresh approach.

The story has a whimsy and playfulness that I think younger, less critical readers will enjoy. In fact, it’s the sort of thing I could see my boys enjoying when they grow out of Captain Mack.

Part of what made it compelling was the world-building. Despite the story’s low page count, it manages to pack in quite a lot of information about the setting, that I think will stand it in good stead as the series grows.

What I enjoyed most was the artwork.

I liked the style and appreciated the artist’s skill and attention to detail. The layout serves to move the eye from one cell to another. The typography is decent and I had no problem following the flow of dialogue — though the use of uppercase for everything got a little tiresome3 after a few pages.

Unfortunately, despite liking the overall story, it was let down a little by the text. I picked up several typos, inconsistencies, modernisms and sloppy constructions that detracted from my enjoyment. I was left wishing the author had applied the same craft and attention to detail to his prose as he had in his artwork — or at least engage a professional editor.

Nevertheless despite this minor criticism, I enjoyed Fallen Idols overall, thanks to the gorgeous artwork and the interesting story and world. I’m curious to see where the story goes as more volumes are published.

  1. Local as in Melbourne, Australia. 

  2. I prefer to buy books from Apple, but this one is only available from Amazon. 

  3. I’m not sure if this is typical of comics or not, but I found it annoying. 

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