Pretty Deadly Vol. 1 (2014) Review


STORY BY Kelly Sue DeConnick

ART BY Emma Rios

COLORS BY Jordie Bellaire

DeConnick uses heavy parables combined with abstract forms of art and storytelling. This combination creates a surrealist mystery. However, the story blooms perfectly, and every detail only reinforces the path to the end. For example, each character has a name or appearance which are symbolic for the American myth they represent. Johnny Coyote is a trickster, Old man Fox is a thief, Sissy the vulture girl represents death while this dreamlike story is carried on the wings of the butterfly. Because the myth is set during the early 19th century wild west, the natural landscape also helps establish the earthy tone of the other mythological aspects.

Furthermore, Rios and Bellaire’s style of artwork and coloring looked more handcrafted than the usual polish and shine Image is known for putting out. Because they went with pencil sketched art and colors that weren’t overly inked or glossy, the art not only depicts dreamlike settings and characters but also the personal touch looks like a story from an earlier time. This isn’t to say the art and colors are minimalistic or indie. In contrary, the artwork is beautiful and detailed from the eyes to the skull landscape of deaths domain to the kinetic action scenes. In fact, the gun battles and sword fights in this story were exceptionally brutal and flowed with a brilliant understanding of pacing and movement.

With Deconnick’s mastery over storytelling and Rios and Bellaire’s artwork, the reader can’t help but soak in every detail from every frame and word the flows from one panel to the next. What the creators give us is an enchanting coming of age and changing of the guard tale. Because everything came together perfectly in the end, it’s hard to imagine where they will go next. However, with the world building from the artwork, plot and the short story supplements, it’s understandable why it would be hard to walk away from Ginny and Sissy.

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