Among Tokyopop’s OEL books, I was certainly looking forward to Becky Cloonan’s East Coast Rising. I’ve been a devoted watcher of her deviantart account and her artwork certainly stands out among the thousands of online artists burying themselves on that online art community. Her character designs and line work are all very… I want to say, ‘bold’… but that seems so clichÃ© to say (then again, most adjectives that people use to describe art are all so overused. It’s probably better if I don’t try and talk about the way she draws).
As for the book itself, I found it to be very rewarding. Some part of the story and transitions in some pages was somewhat awkward for me, but I didn’t mind having to flip back and re-read in order to understand what was going on. The entire first volume was a fun read, setting you up for the three-volume story, and certainly promises fun in the future with Cloonan’s very colorful characters. My personal favorite so far is Deathsnake– I know he’s going to do some fairly nutty stuff in the next volumes, for sure! And, he had cool hair.
I also love how Cloonan turns our own world into something almost unfamiliar, turning it into a stage for the purposes of pirate adventures on the sea. We get a glimpse of Jersey– which I assumed was New Jersey gone completely awry– and it looked completely unlivable. There is mention of Manhattan, and I think it will be interesting how Cloonan has transformed these cities for her stories. Right now, it is the sea that seems to make the most sense in terms of human habitation in the story. What has happened to the people on land when there seems to be monsters and pirates running a muck in the ocean?