Graphic Novel Review: Shutter Vol. 1

Shutter Vol 1.While I read superhero comics and slightly more realistic finds, I tend to be drawn to stories that have all kinds of weirdness going on. It’s unsurprising then that Shutter–with it’s platypus person, dinosaurs, and flying saucers–caught my attention.

Shutter‘s the story of Kate Kristopher. When Kate was young, she traveled the world with her father and had all sorts of adventures. Now, at 27, she just wants to live a normal life. Unfortunately, her mysterious siblings aren’t about the let that happen.

Kate makes an interesting lead character. She’s smart, capable, and definitely not someone you’d want to mess with. I loved that she spoke like your average twenty-something and dressed fashionable–yet entirely practical–in jeans and boots. I’m interested in seeing her develop as the story progresses. She has a lot of depth already with her struggles over her father’s death (and all of the secrets he kept from her) and her fight to keep herself and those around her alive.

As for the story, the action moved quickly even when the main plot progressed at a relatively slow pace. I do wish more had been revealed about Kate’s siblings in the first volume, but I’m not discouraged from reading more by what the writer appears to intend as a gradual reveal. I actually want to go back and reread the comic soon because it felt like there were so many things I missed or overlooked the first time around. When so much weirdness is going on, it’s easy to overlook extraneous stuff that might still be important.

Speaking of weird goings on, the comic had tons of illusions to outside sources like Tintin, Felix the Cat, and The Busy World of Richard Scarry. Not to give anything away, but the Richard Scarry bit cracked me up. It was so wonderfully strange and subversive that it definitely was the highlight of Volume One. Also important to note: this comic includes automatons, lion-people, and a viewing of Roman Holiday. It’s just too awesome.

The art also fascinated me. There’s an amazing amount of detail in the characters’ surroundings. My eyes kept drawing away from the main action to take in all the architecture and landscapes.  The characters (both human and otherwise) had such distinctive looks that I loved seeing what sort of bizarre, new creature appeared next. Personally, my favorite character designs were Alain with her pink, bombshell hair and Alarm Cat because it’s basically a walking talking Felix the Cat clock (what’s not to adore about that?).

Shutter is created by Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Duca. Volume One collects the first six issues, but if you’re interested in reading more, you should be able to track down #7 and #8–which are out now.

If you like your comics a bit off-beat and full of adventure, you should give Shutter a try. I loved it and can’t wait to see more.

Who is your favorite fictional adventurer?

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5 thoughts on “Graphic Novel Review: Shutter Vol. 1

  1. I definitely feel like I need to re-read this, because like you said there is so much detail in the art and I’m sure I missed at least half of it in my first read. And yes, more about the siblings! Felt like we were just getting the tip of the iceberg.

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