Pantomime is rife with a wonderful cacophony of images that really cement its premise of kids unable to hear having to perform heists. It’s honestly a really fun and weird premise that proffers some unique tension throughout the pages of this book.
Chris Sebela has a wonderfully unique sense of storytelling throughout this first issue. Within 21 pages, the scope of this issue manages to cohesively tell a plot that other series would take almost five issues to expand upon. The level of brevity and strength in what Sebela doles out is a masterclass in storytelling that really focuses on the meat of the story, rather than letting it meander. In a stellar move by Sebela, he consistently dictates the reader’s pace and expectations throughout this issue, showing the level of thought and control put into each piece he’s involved in.
Alongside this, artist David Stoll really shines with his artwork in this book. Each panel holds a dynamic aesthetic throughout each panel. While the linework can be simple, nearly every panel is dense and layered with wonderful scenery and character interactions. Stoll really does a wonderful job making this world feel as though it’s populated, but properly makes the focus on these hearing-impaired robbing kids.
Paired with Stoll’s artwork is magnetic color work by Dearbhla Kelly. Kelly’s colors really aid in the easy reading throughout this entire issue. It’s got all of these wondrous hues that have such depth beneath the clear linework. This line-work is further complemented by Justin Birch’s lettering. The way he makes caption boxes atop non-sign language uses is simply genius. The hearing impaired can’t hear people’s voices, so they are depicted as squiggles — it’s such a cool trick to see throughout this book.
In its first issue, Pantomime shows off how it can depict such a unique perspective of life such as from those who are hearing impaired. It’s a unique reading experience that really embraces the unique aspects of the comics art form.