Isola #8 Is Slow But Beautiful

by Olly MacNamee

Isola #8, by Brendan Fletcher, Karl Kerschl and Msassyk, like the previous issue, continues to tell the tale of Captain Rook and Queen Olwyn as they continue their journey across these fantasy lands at a slow and steady pace, with Rook collapsing from either exhaustion or from a close call with some kind of bird-like creature that emits a screech loud enough to burst your eardrums.

The gist of this issue is, effectively, Rook getting back on her feet while Olwyn is drawn to the mysteries of the rundown shack that their saviour, Miluše, occupies. She’s another new character – friend of foe, is yet to be determined – in a growing cast scattered all across the vistas of the mythical Maar. And, like others, she has an affinity with animals, and in particulate the raccoon-like creatures she keeps. Although, it would seem she’s not to enamoured by Olwyn. Should we be worried? Probably, given Miluše comes across as some mad woman of the woods who clearly possesses some magical powers and a slight off-kilt mental sate too, that should always worry the reader. But, for now she seems to ant to help Rook, but for why, we’ll have to wait. With this bi-monthly schedule, that can feel like a long wait between issues, especially with the last two being so slow.

Thankfully, in the slower pace we get to marvel, has always, as the marvellous world Kerschl and Msassyk are building. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the beautiful, detailed vegetation, architecture, animal life and all the smaller nooks and crannies that they are developing, moulding and forming each and every issue. The final splash page is a great example of the beauty of this book summed up in one image, although there are many, many examples throughout the series. I’m happy just to lap it all up. For now. Whether I’ll still be cheering if there’s a third issue of slow paced storylines, I’m not too sure. After all, with less dialogue you get a quicker read which, when added up to the publishing schedule, may find some drop off this title in favour of more immediate action and satisfaction.

Still, this is comics and a big part of that is the art, so I’m in this for the long haul, wherever Rook and Olwyn take me next.

Isola #8 is out from Image Comics Wednesday, the 26th of June.

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