It feels as if the industry is filled to overflowing with end-of-the-world tales. Zombies; monsters; cities once teeming now barren of human life. This influx might be commentary of civilization, of over-population, or of resource depletion. It might simply be a matter of creators being curious what a world might be like if whichever narrative novelty took place, and that curiosity leads to speculation not quite driven by socio-political concerns.
At any rate, it takes something particularly unique to cut through the static, to create a singular space in all those market-cluttering apocalypses.
Radio Apocalypse, with its second issue, might not illustrate its unique flavor in its solicitation copy—hell, there’s even another music-influenced book running right now. It’s not until you open the book that you’re overwhelmed by what makes it special: the wonderfully scatchy, punchy artwork.
Anand RK fills the panels with crooked, inconsistent characters and highly detailed objects that give the world a strange, dual nature wherein each character never feels static, yet the small debris of humanity (piles of trash, boxes of cassettes, mutant-repelling coils of razor-wire) feel nearly unmoved. The living seem in motion even when in repose, and the world around them sits silent, immovable as time.
Anisha’s colors feel as if they come from underneath the pencils, just as essential to each shape as the lines which give it form. Unnatural hues of turquoise, violet, gradations of oranges and reds make the world queasy but beautiful, a world made sick but never foul. Together, the art team shifts from that cartoonish simplicity to moments of true human terror and back again with surprising ease.
It’s the one-two punch of these visuals that grip the reader and propel them along, more so than superstar writer Ram V’s writing—but that writing does not come up short, either. The world being built in Radio Apocalypse feels honest, real, and constrained by the curse of survival. With the second issue, the world is being more defined, the characters deepening by small degrees, and it’s done by small moments of dialogue rather than exposition.
At one point in the issue, there is a very brief conversation between a sheriff-like figure intent on protecting his small community against the world outside and the radio station-master, whose job it is to provide, through broadcast, some sense of humanity and hope; both gruff old men, there’s a sense of rooted immobility to their beliefs. Over two short pages, both characters become nearly whole, their very hearts delivered in a few brief lines of dialogue.
But this is a ensemble book, and though we caught glimpses of characters in the first issue—and came to understand the danger and plight of its people with a tragic loss—it’s in this issue that we begin to know them, even as new characters are introduced. The structure of humanity’s remains is developed, ever so slightly, as is our understanding of the monstrosities which threaten it.
The second issue of Radio Apocalypse seems to promise growth with each panel that may very well cement its unique, singular place in the comic book apocalypse.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!