Rose #3 is a fantasy story following the adventures of a woman named Rose, who is on a journey of discovering her magical powers and her ability to communicate with a powerful beast. She must use this power against the oppressive forces of the sorceress Drucilla, whose demonic ties have caused misery and promise further destruction to the people of her world.
There’s a text box with the “Story Thus Far” section, and I found it almost impossible to read without zooming in on the text. Even then the writing style was difficult to read. Perhaps this was a decision by Cardinale Rae for the lettering in this panel, so if you are reading this for the first time you would want to use a zoom function or magnifying glass, and have an uncanny ability to read small type calligraphy. Otherwise, I would suggest just diving right in. The plot is easy enough to follow and most readers will be able to grasp what had happened up to the current issue just from the dialogue. This is good writing on Meredith Finch’s part.
To Finch’s credit, the story for where it is on just the third issue, seems to be progressing in a fascinating direction, with characters being built up and having histories that kept my attention. My only contention with where dialogue is placed is with the fighting scenes. In a normal fight, there isn’t enough energy from the parties involved to try and reason with each other while their adrenaline is rushing. Their only focus is on movement, either in defense or in attack. Your oxygen intake is accelerated as your blood is pumping to your extremities to fuel your fight or flight responses, and you are maneuvering in such a way to defeat your opponent or escape them from defeating you. Most well written fight scenes leave out a lot of dialogue so the audience can focus on the action, and any heavy plot dialogue scenes can be left for panels where characters are sitting and discussing or in between fight scenes.
The art style of Ig Guara is very 2-dimensional in the cover as well as in most of the panels. We see in the pages very little movement within the frames, which is problematic especially when it comes to fighting scenes. We see a clear connection between one frame and the next, yet there is very little sense of tension in the action, and extremity of movement in the fight scenes. Despite this, the art is quite detailed for closeups, and there are a few shots that go out of panel to give a sense of coming out of the page.
In addition to this, with regards to character design, Guara’s art style is more rounded and many of the facial characteristics could debatably be seen as repeated on other characters. Mostly characters are sporting a stout nose, and a shorter countenance, with a few exceptions. The females aren’t drawn to the appeal of prurient interests, which gives them a more realistic look, and this is actually a plus for Guara’s style. This gives the reader more of a focus on the stories these characters have to share rather than appealing to hormone inducing eye-candy.
Triona Farrell does some fine coloring for the comic. Brilliant colors for the characters contrasted against the background make it so the appropriate folks pop out against the environment and keep the eyes of the reader on the subject and their dialogue. It’s a good thing because outside of that there wouldn’t be much to keep the characters from standing out from their environment, as Guara doesn’t rely on heavy lines to delineate one from the other. Both characters and background are also very detailed, so there isn’t much that can separate the two, all the more reason Farrell in her coloring compliments Guara’s work magnificently.
The sense of mystery that Finch builds up is intriguing and isn’t complicated to the point where I have to labor and ultimately lose interest. There are backstories to characters as they are introduced, and their friendships (or lack thereof) is deeply rooted and believable, and there is a sense that they can be easily covered in a few short blurbs of dialogue.
There’s a lot of good things going on in Rose #3 that catch my attention and genuinely piqued my interest for wanting more. The only complaints I have against the comic are small and ruin my suspension of disbelief. With just small tweaks in the writing choices, I believe it could be a perfectly enjoyable title to read. The art style is beautiful, but does need that bit of distortion to amplify the action or tension of a scene. While coloring does help to bring these characters out from their environments, the character design can be addressed to give viewers a bit more variety in the looks of their protagonists.
- Art style is beautifully detailed and colorful
- Story is easy to follow, and mysteries are intriguing without being complicated
- Art does not overlap story, but compliments it
- Action is more static and lacks intensity in some panels
- Dialogue is placed in some awkward places
- Some character designs lack facial variety