100 Days, 100 Comics #9: ‘Echo’ vol 1

Echo vol 1: Moon LakeBecause it’s the elephant in the room for anyone who knows me and has seen the jacket of this book, I want to get the subject out of the way so that I can move on to more important subjects and say that yes, the Papyrus font all over this book made me uneasy. Were it not for the wonder contained inside this trade, I would have probably have frozen my face into a grimace reading over the back. Luckily, Terry Moore is one of my favorite comics creators in any genre or vocation, and he gets a free pass from me on the design choice there.

Echo kicked off right as I was departing my New York job at Wizard. I actually remember it as one of the last last breaking stories before I left, both because I interviewed him about it and because it was as big of a deal as Jeff Smith announcing Rasl post-Bone in the wake of Moore’s wrap-up on Strangers in Paradise. It’s a hero story. It’s a sci-fi story. And it’s a personal story with a female lead. Much like Strangers in Paradise, he plays to one of his greatest writing talents, which is building multi-plot narratives separately and developing tension for the reader as they proceed and dance around each other until they collide. So few writers do it well, and he does it with a passionate interest in his characters’ lives and an enviable skill for most writers, which is to have a solid grasp on cartooning fundamentals, and that allows him to really carve out his own world of visual cue languages and emotive narrative sequences.

When you read a Terry Moore page, you can really feel the craft and personal attachment to the scene that he’s invested. From the silver raining pellets to the heroine’s breastplate he gets how important it is to have compelling visual elements in a story and he uses them. And because he skirts around various genre anchors and elements so much you really feel like you’re venturing into unknown territory whenever you open up one of his books or turn the page.

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