Seeds of Eden is one of the shorts in TKO’s new line of, well, “TKO Shorts.” It’s a fourteen page, 8.5” x 5.5” zine. It’s spectacular, innovative, experimental, and one of my favorite print comics I’ve gotten this year.
The format is genuinely something I love. I’m a huge fan of doing anything other than the 20-40 page periodical, and this weird fourteen page pamphlet feels like something that wouldn’t be done at any direct market publishers. Seeds of Eden immediately feels like something special, just when you see it and hold it. It goes beyond just the size, too — the paper quality is better than most single issues, and the design work by both Jared K. Fletcher and Jeff Powell are each as good as anyone’s in the industry. This little book is cool as hell, is what I’m saying. And the story? It’s just as good.
As I’ve mentioned, the story is only fourteen pages, so to cover any of it here would be to say too much, but it’s great. This is my first time encountering anything by Liana Kangas or Joe Corallo, but telling a complete story so concisely is impressive. It seems like Kangas in particular is a rising star in the industry, and if this is any indication, she’ll soon be topping end of year lists.
The aforementioned Jeff Powell does great work here on the letters, too. I specifically like how there are a limited number of speakers in the story, which allowed him to give each voice a special font and bubble. It gives the story and the protagonist even more of a lonely feeling, in a tangible way.
But of course, there’s also the Azaceta of it all. If nothing else, this comic is a great opportunity to see Azaceta color his own line work, and I love it. It’s always interesting to see what artists do when they get to color themselves, to see the choices they make when they get to control most of the visuals on the page. It happens so rarely because of how labor intensive it is to draw and color twenty pages a month, and I’m happy to see that Azaceta was able to do the work himself because of the TKO release model.
And that doesn’t even cover the wonderful craft on display here. He balances detail and simplicity across the page in a way the feels effortless. The background drops out and color replaces it to heighten and control the emotions. When you get to the purple pages…it’s real good art.
At three bucks, I’m more than comfortable with saying this is worth the price, and I’m planning on buying the other two based on how much I’ve enjoyed this one. It’s a weird little book that I’ve already read four times and will likely enjoy many more times in the future.
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