ComicScene Magazine Review: Killtopia Vol 2

I read Killtopia Vol 2 on digital. Not my preferred format and I eagerly await picking up a print copy in October when I can pour over the writing, the art and the story. However I thought I’d review now, to wet your appetite for the book.

Killtopia Vol 1 was one of my favourite titles of last year. The product certainly matched the hype. As good as Kaiju Cola, our happy place in a can. Does Killtopia Vol 2 meet expectations when the bar has been raised so high, or is it the difficult second album? On the whole I would say yes it maintains the quality of Volume 1.

The story seems to focus on Stilleto. A great stand out character from Volume One I wonder if that was the original intention. It’s quite hard to keep up with the emotive feelings you have with characters in Volume One into Volume Two and how they relate to each other and the wider plot threads. There is a lot to follow here (no bad thing). However, as I said, I’m uncomfortable reading in digital rather than a physical copy where I can follow a narrative much easier. This comic needs to be reread to capture all the nuances. This Volume is wordy (and even more sweary, which jars a little) as we go deeper into this dystopian world Dave and Craig have created. The quality remains high, so treat these as wee niggles from a bar that’s raised quite high.

At times, particularly towards the end of the book, the art seems rushed with very few backgrounds. There aren’t as many visual ‘wow’ moments from Volume one as you are reintroduced to this new world (the sewer section comes close). That may also sound like a criticism, but the writing of Dave Cook and the art of Craig Paton have created such a wonderful backdrop in the production of these books you perhaps take the world for granted. A pallet of such wonderful colours adds to that and some quite clever framing of the page means the artist and writer must be working together to create a pace of look and design which transcends the storyline and creates a unique comic book experience (I hope I’m right and the creators don’t tell me I’m talking a load of old bollocks when I meet them at one of the many Cons they attend promoting the hell out of their books!). Looking back at Craig’s art from Volume One you also see a vast improvement in body composition with an improved fluidity of movement which is fabulous. There are times when you feel you are freeze framed with a character in the moment, which is a difficult thing to do, and relies on writer and artist understanding the pace of their story which is great to see.

I did particularly like the scooter section, which is just kinda cool. The overall book, writing and art is kinda cool too and it still stands out from the crowd. So Volume 2 remains consistent. The high heeled boots their book had to fill doesn’t fall flat on its face from a great height. It continues to survive right to the end and I’m sure Killtopia Volume 2 will make you crave the happy place of the next chapter. We can all drink to that (but watch how you dispose of your can!). It remains a great comic and on this turn out I’m looking forward to Volume 3.

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