We all love waiting for the trade, for that great experience of having a full section of story in our hands, unfolding its narrative with its undulating elements of buildup-climax-buildup of the single issues, feeling the drumbeat of a story grow louder and louder until it crescendos with a climax that makes us anxious for that next trade to get out there on the stands because goddamn it that was a fucking good story and you want to read more.
But we all also know that it’s even more fun to be rolling along on the frisson and thrill of the single issues, watching the storyline slowly play itself out in front of our eyes as we sit there, hopefully mouth agape, wondering just what is going on, what the key elements of this comic’s mystery are, how everything fits together.
It may be fun to marathon a season on Netflix, but sometimes it’s more fun to just catch one episode at a time on Hulu, right?
Ei8ht is an awesome first issue (in every sense of the word), the kind of comic that makes me want to hit the comic shop every Wednesday to see how my latest episodes of my favorite series play out. This first issue, by Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson, spills enough of its secrets to be intriguing, reveals enough of its fictional world to get the reader pondering what is happening, and delivers enough fascinating WTFness to make it stand out from the crowd.
It also features some really intriguing art and coloring by Albuquerque, delivered with a verve and energy and fascinatingly odd color palette, a fascinating match of an indie, seat-of-the-pants energy with a precise, well-considered element of panel design. This feels like very few things that are on the stands, which is no surprise knowing the man’s work, with its cute dinosaurs, beautifully ragged and confused main character, and a world revealed at the end that makes me want to jump through the page and start exploring.
And the beauty of reading a floppy like this, the charm of reading a pretty damn near ideal first issue, is that now I get to wait 30 days for the next Wednesday and the next chance to read this comic. I get to roll the ideas expressed in this comic around in my brain, get to consider and reject alternatives and consider those alternatives again, pondering this latest comic like the latest incredible mystery I find on Hulu.
Yeah, you could wait for the inevitable trade – and I’m sure this will be a really nice trade, and the equally inevitable deluxe hardcover with the first giant stack of issues will be even better. You can wait and pick up those book and have most of the big mysteries solved, at least kind of, and have new mysteries gained. You can follow the crowd and learn about this work all in one chunk, after the early adopters all rave about this comic.
Or you can take a chance, spend your $3.50 and have a hell of a time reading this single comic and thinking about it for the next month. Waiting for the trade is nice, but Ei8ht #1 is a strong argument for hitting your LCS next Wednesday, picking up your stack, debating this first issue with your friends on twitter or in real life, and then anxiously awaiting the next great chapter of what promises to be a really damn cool comic.
I know where I’ll be next Wednesday. Hey guys at Arcane Comics, can we add Ei8ht to my pull list?
Read Rafael Albuquerque’s commentary on Ei8ht here.