Onion Skin, from the mind of freshman comic book artist and creator Edgar Camacho, is a properly untamed book of adventure; a die-hard ode to throwing caution directly off a steep cliff and not waiting around to hear the splat. The rebellious tinge of stylized un-uniformity in the paneling and character design gives a heavy-handed confidence to the pages; a faux-clumsy assuredness, cackling in the face of ridiculous danger that sparks the spirit.
Following two enigmatic, underdog leads as they stubbornly overcome career despondency and embark on a burgeoning journey together as “world-traveling” food-truck-teurs, they headstrongly navigate the ensuing chaos of life on the road. A forthright, unsubtle argument on passion over financial stability, Camacho’s Onion Skin screams: ‘You have dreams, go achieve them!’
The earthy tones and unkempt fuzzy line work highlight a dusty, scuffed, and unruly world. A place with rogue food trucks, biker gangs, cliff-side car chases, blood thirsty coyotes, and dizzy action around every corner. As the dynamic narrative jumps effortlessly back and forth in the timeline of events, movement and action pop from the page and make a thrilling read. Shapes and forms defined and separated with thick, uneven lines, like prints from woodblocks, combine with a rebellious bleeding of color between objects make a visual mess in the best ways.
For everything presented, Onion Skin is cool as all Hell. Camacho builds a realm littered with fictionalized nuggets of life: made-up brands, bands (and band merch), boozy beverages, and even a really cool little riff on the classic horror film genre — Rolando (one of two leads) falls asleep to something between Night of the Living Dead and The Mummy’s Tomb playing on the T.V. — to name a few.
But for everything not presented, a potential wealth for story is left unknown. The details and atmosphere are superb and create a deeply contextualized setting, with a complexity that at times the characters’ motivations struggle to match or justify. The protagonists are distinct in their portrayals, but when the reader meets them, their transition from lost, aimless husks to ambitious, determined go-getters is so immediate that the impression left is that this character growth has already happened. The passionate build to that self-discovery and understanding seem vacant from this story.
With all the heart that Onion Skin wears on its sleeve, this book could easily be a Part One to a seriously wicked epic. That being said, even without more exposition, every gear of it still turns smoothly and I’m one reader who is hungry for more.
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