Mirror Mirror

Story by
Art by
Lee Moder
Colors by
Jon Alderink
Letters by
Bill Tortolini
Kickstart Comics

Kickstart certainly has some guts, trying to break into a comic market that is inundated with new series from companies that don't last much longer than it takes for the ink to dry on the pages those same books are printed on. Not only is Kickstart trying to break in, but they're doing so in grand fashion, with a wide offering of original graphic novels. This doesn't seem like a bad way to try to start up, but the books are rather pricey for the package: $14.99 for 98 pages.

The story, starring Owen Grimm (yes, of course, a descendant of the Brothers Grimm) wavers somewhere between "National Treasure" and "Fables" without ever succeeding in finding the allure or charm of either franchise. The story is intriguing in its premise, well-planned in its peak moments, but sloppy in execution. A found journal is suddenly known - by the finder! - like the back of her own hand. Assumptions and other leaps are made throughout the story, dropping chunks of back story or build-up from this tale. Mostly it comes across as missing scenes, that were deemed unworthy and dropped to the cutting room floor, or perhaps the missing moments just never made it from script to page. The characters themselves are flawed, poorly motivated, and generally uninteresting. There's not enough back story here to make me care about Owen, Sally, or Professor Hart, but there also wasn't space for their stories to be told.

I found myself bumped off of the path of appreciating this story quite early on when I noticed this book had a glaring misunderstanding of plurals and possessives as multiple Grimm individuals are referred to as "Grimm's" and more than one parent is "parent's." It seems to me that those errors should have been caught early on, and most certainly shouldn't have made it to the printed page.

The brightest light in this dim adventure comes in the form of art from Lee Moder. Moder's style has changed significantly over the years, and this story gives him a chance to shine doing what he does best, animating the real and pitching it alongside the fantastic. "Mirror, Mirror" is a sharp looking book, it just needed a more polished tale to play to the strengths of the artist.

Kickstart may not have put their very best work forward on this first book, but the story is certainly intriguing enough for me to check in on the further adventures of Owen Grimm. Mind you, I didn't say I was going to necessarily purchase the next, but I will certainly see where the story goes and if any of the kinks of this first story manage to get properly worked out.

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