ShadowEyes
|4 min read
MrPlaid81's avatar
By MrPlaid81   |   
0 15 348 (1 Today)
Published: August 1, 2010
Battle Angel Alita - Action + Ross Campbell = ShadowEyes

If this combo appeals to you or you're a R.C. completist then get the book.

So I got ShadowEyes this week FI-nally from Amazon which was a relief from all my pretentious long brain books. I was pretty jazzed to read it. Read it in one sitting. The thing that stood out to me was that the thing that Mr Campbell does well in Wet Moon seems peculiar in this series. By which I mean long scenes of characterization. I guess I was expecting more action ala Abandoned; which being self contained necessitated a climax and a (this is so faggy for me to say) denouemont. [Ugh that was a little painful. (Joe Edkin still haunts me to this day.)] Anyway, although most of the events pace well and I like Ross' take on how an alien sci fi adventure would translate in Ross-anese it drags with some of the character interactions towards the end. I get that if you're buying his books it's because Ross' take appeals to you and I do think I was just expecting more action. Each of his books are in separate genres so I get that they'll have different delivery systems (for lack of a better phrase) and I think my expectations of having ShadowEyes as this "James Cameron; Aliens take" kinda of derailed my enjoyment level. It was still a good book and I'm not trashing it I'm just saying where Abandoned was a 10, ShadowEyes is a 7.5. I don't know if it's fair to compare the two, but I was expecting more action and perhaps blood and guts. In any case I just wasn't expecting the take to be "adorable plush alien mutant creature fights crime."

In any case what I really do like is that the people always seem real. They're people you'd easily meet in real life. They are meandering and vacillate on their positions about things. One of the characters goes into how her position on violence alters depending on the subject and context. The other thing is Ross really gets to expound on his analysis of the complexities and adversities of superheroing when transitioning from being a regular person. Having no special insights or being gifted (barely any) story contrivances from the writer, ShadowEyes basically lucks out on a lead. I guess that's what stuck me was that, as a reader, you're waiting for the plot to advance (or maybe really just meaningless aggro fight scenes) and instead you're getting this rich characterization which I wasn't hoping for. I was expecting a heavy metal soundtrack and some brain fist fucking violence. ShadowEyes does have action and Ross handles it in a way that appeases his own sensibilities, but whereas in Wet Moon the meandering IS the story I don't know if that's practicable with ShadowEyes. I keep thinking of the director commentary from Avatar where the creators are talking about people pitching them a series that goes on forever and never resolves and what a nightmare that would be for them. Though it may be unkind or mean to bring up with ShadowEyes this thought couldn't help but creep into my mind. I like long stories that take their time or build slowly and then pull the rug out from underneath you, but sometimes you just want a big greasy burger with rough cut mushrooms, carmelized onions, bacon, baby spinach and feta cheese (didn't realize how hungry I am). I guess I tricked myself into thinking that since Wet Moon is so self assured in it's progression this would have been the speed metal to offset that; like Abandoned and Water Baby.

Now despite talking about how I was expecting More action that is not to say there wasn't any. There's a pretty cool boss fight at the end of the book with a character without a history ala Joker. Anyway, I plan on getting the next book.
Comments15
anonymous's avatar
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nickmarino's avatar
"adorable plush alien mutant creature fights crime" -- agreed.
MrPlaid81's avatar
MrPlaid81Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey Nick! Always great to see you. Yeah I thought it was an accurate description, but I was a little worried about coming across as dickish. :lol:
mooncalfe's avatar
mooncalfeProfessional Artist
i just found this! sorry the book wasn't what you were hoping for but thanks all the same for picking it up and giving it a shot. :)
MrPlaid81's avatar
MrPlaid81Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I always enjoy your work, I just think my expectations of what it was going to be soured my enjoyment. It's still a very good read, I was just expecting something different. Perhaps I'm just a junkie for mindless aggro fight scenes. :shrug:
mooncalfe's avatar
mooncalfeProfessional Artist
yeah, Shadoweyes definitely isn't that kind of book. what made you think it was going to be?
MrPlaid81's avatar
MrPlaid81Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Abandoned was the Zombie genre and it stayed true in the respect it had a lot of zombie violence in addition to being a Ross Campbell take on it. Shadoweyes definitely seemed to be the Bladerunner, Battle Angel Alita, Dystopian future populated by Mutant War Machine Vigilantes. Seeing as how that's what it looked like, that's what I was expecting. :shrug:
mooncalfe's avatar
mooncalfeProfessional Artist
Shadoweyes seemed like that even with all the cutesy promo art like Scout and Sparkle hugging and previews of Pony Master and Scout being adorably clumsy? :XD: not trying to say that your expectations were dumb or invalid, but going along with your thoughts on The Abandoned, i'd argue that Shadoweyes has a similar ratio of dystopian superhero + Ross that Abandoned did of zombies + Ross. and the way Wet Moon is slice-of-life/drama + Ross, too. i think most of my stuff sort of takes its respective genre and uses parts of it and then violates the rest of the genre conventions, like how Wet Moon has a masked crimefighter and a serial killer and a girl who swims in the swamp, or how Shadoweyes is a superhero but she doesn't save the city or beat a lot of people up and she hangs out with her mom. ;)
MrPlaid81's avatar
MrPlaid81Hobbyist Traditional Artist
From the first drawings you posted I didn't even think that Shadoweyes could talk or was even human. Then you had some previews, but that didn't phase me because there was still a lot of violence in Abandoned. Abandoned was the basic Zombie formula + Ross, so I think that's what I based my judgment off of. You've had Ross kitsch in your other books like the Ponymasters and still delivered on the red meat so I didn't think it was an issue. I trusted that you'd deliver the goods, but failed to see that you were going for something else. Don't get me wrong I like what you do (I gave you a 7.5 out of 10, that's not an indictment) I like that Shadoweyes is a teen who still hangs with her Mom. I just wanted more action over Sparkle chat.

Also, and I'm not taking offense, but I would like to point out that you are saying, my expectations are dumb and invalid. Why else provide examples to back up your argument? :)
mooncalfe's avatar
mooncalfeProfessional Artist
...what the hell did i just say? :XD:
mooncalfe's avatar
mooncalfeProfessional Artist
haha, i'm sorry, i didn't mean it like that, i was trying to use my examples as like a retroactive thing riffing off your Abandoned analogy, because obviously you had your expectations and there's no changing the past, it was what it was. but like.. i'm not asking you to like the book more than you did, but i meant now that you've read Shadoweyes, expectations aside, that you can look back on it and maybe see it's kind of similar to The Abandoned in its execution or whatever regardless of whether you liked that execution. and, of course, all that said, if that execution left you wanting more action, then that's all good and there isn't much i can do about that. ;)
MrPlaid81's avatar
MrPlaid81Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, you could always kowtow exclusively to me and make the next book 25-35% more actiony! :laughing:

It's your book, man. You have to do it your way or else it'll start becoming my vision of Shadoweyes. Writing by committee tends to comes off as an abortion.

Completely unrelated are you going to compile all of Mountain Girl in a trade?
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Chaos-turtle's avatar
Chaos-turtleHobbyist Artisan Crafter
hey HAAYYhow come you got your shadow eyes already?! i like ordered mine in.....shit...long time ago at chapters, DAMN YOU AMAZON DOT COMMM i CURSE YOUR EFFICIENT DELIVERY SYSTEM!!!!
MrPlaid81's avatar
MrPlaid81Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazon contacted me again asking me if still I wanted it , then I got it a week later. I keep picking it up and looking at it which is the clear sign of a good comic.
Chaos-turtle's avatar
Chaos-turtleHobbyist Artisan Crafter
aauugghh you suck lucky bastard!
MrPlaid81's avatar
MrPlaid81Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:D
anonymous's avatar
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