Review: Shutter, Vol. 1 – Wanderlost; by Joe Keatinge

Shutter, Vol. 1: WanderlostShutter, Vol. 1: Wanderlost by Joe Keatinge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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OK, so I agree with those who say this is trying to ride the wave of Saga (Sam) and I can see where that comes from.

The art is colourful, the story moves forward at a breakneck pace, and we’re introduced to all sorts of crazy characters…

Kate is an appealing enough leading lady, but other than the fact that she’s been in a rut for 10 yrs following the untimely death of her father, there’s not much we know about her.

Turns out, she’s got a bunch of siblings she never knew about, and we only hear her mother mentioned briefly, and it’s clear that she’s not a fan…so who’s the whore? Daddy or Mommy? Seems like Dad, as the one sibling we meet is an 8 yr old boy who is also Dad’s.

There’s a skeleton butler, who is in servitude to the family, but if you look at little clues, is he in service to Mom or Dad’s side? There’s the nanny, an old woman called ‘General’ who used to adventure and take care of Dad before he grew up, and there’s a talking cat clock (the black and white one) who seems to have some silly accent, and is supposed to be comic relief.

There’s a best friend who’s had a sex change from man to woman, no big deal, OK, but I wonder why it was necessary? It seems like it’s there to get a pop for having a gender reassigned character, even though that character isn’t very involved in the story for much. I like different characters, but this one seems like it was put in to seem like the author is some wonderful champion of humanity. It’s not at all relevant to the storyline to do background on how she used to be a he, it just seems to be a sort of self-congratulatory “we’re so progressive!” detour.

Considering the time spent on the best friend’s gender, you think they would have had the time to give us more on Kate or her family or whatnot, but no.

Everyone’s a character, there’s humanized animals, like Fables, or Elephantmen, or anything really with talking animals. This is just accepted, OK, but it’s not like there’s a couple of races, like in Saga, there’s all kinds of things, like these lion men, and foxes, a Gorilla doctor, robots, pink ghost ninjas (hmm…Saga’s babysitter anyone?), and the skeleton butler.

It’s definitely varied, and I can see the appeal of Kate, should we get to know more about her, but with all the stuff about her siblings, and fantastical creatures out to kill her, there’s just an air of familiarity to this if you’ve read Saga.

I’m not saying it’s a bad book, because it’s not (lord knows, check out some of the other Image Humble Bundle books and you will see BAD!) so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt, and wait to hear where it goes from here, but I’m not going out of my way to follow.

Sometimes overloading us with visual stimulation and colour doesn’t work if you don’t have a good core holding it all together. In Saga it was the love story, here, there’s just Kate WTFing about her life, and being pissed off about whatever her dad did behind her back for years.

A decent book, worth a look if you liked Saga, and if you like your female characters strong and spunky, if not totally original.


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About Gavin

I'm a lover of pop-culture, from movies to music to books to TV shows to well...comics, and just about everything in between. I'm also a history buff, and spent 4 yrs getting a fancy BA in it. When I was at said University, I got my learn on AND spent all my money on CDs and VHS (yup, I'm THAT old.) However, I'm happy to discuss any topic really, as I love a good debate or just to be proven right. I'm Canadian, so I wear shorts and flip flops 9 months of the year, but no, I am NOT fanatical about hockey (I actually prefer baseball, thank my American father for that!). I love the outdoors, but don't get out enough... I've got a sick twisted sense of humour (hence why I'm friends with these Shallow folks) and believe that laughter is the best medicine...except penicillin...cause laughter won't cure the clap.

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