"Lola XOXO #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Aspen Comics
Written and Illustrated by Siya Oum
2014, 28 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 9th, 2014
With all of the post-apocalyptic stories out there, you would think that we'll be prepared for when some big disaster does hit. I know that I've been stockpiling canned goods and working on a device to allow me to drink my own urine. What...you haven't? Anyway, Aspen Comics is providing a new take on the dystopian future with Siya Oum's Lola XOXO. The comic follows the title character, a young woman who has spent her formative years separated from her parents, growing up in the middle of the US devastated by a nuclear war. Now she wants to head out to find her family, but she'll have to traverse the barren wasteland that is the country first.
The first issue of Lola XOXO has all the makings of a great origin story. You learn everything you need to know about Lola's background. The book opens with her as a child, boarding a flight in Los Angeles to visit her grandmother in New York without her parents (for reasons unknown). The plane is forced to land in Ohio after a massive attack hits across the continent. Lola is taken in by a local military man named Conrad.
|Click images to enlarge|
Fast forward a few years and Lola is fully grown and living somewhere in the Midwest. Conrad looks after her but she feels stifled by him and wants to go out scavenging with him and his crew. Instead, she's kept at home and doesn't get to use the formidable training that she's learned from Conrad. She decides to change all that on her birthday.
Little is seen of the outside world in Lola XOXO, but much is implied. There are some impressive landscape shots showing skyscrapers cut down to size and standing in ruin. No one uses cars, instead relying on horses and bicycles. The barter system is in full swing. There are hints of a violent land just outside of the fences of Lola's home. The layout and style of the town reminds me a bit of Fallout 3.
Siya Oum's artwork is gorgeous. Every single panel is beautiful. The only negative thing I can say is that the characters are almost too pretty. If you've been living in a wasteland for the past few years, you'd be a little rough around the edges. That doesn't detract from the art at all though. Oum has some fantastic art direction too that really helps bring the story along.
|Click images to enlarge|
The character design is top notch. Each person is well defined and sticks out from the crowd. No two people look alike. Lola specifically stands out (and for good reason as it's her book), although I question her choice of clothing. After surviving a nuclear apocalypse, I would think there are better outfits than a corset, jean cut-offs, and fishnets, but at least she's wearing boots. Lola's look helps her in the outside world as people underestimate her. They see a beautiful young woman and think she's helpless, which is the furthest thing from the truth. She can kick ass with the best of them and she proves it at the tail end of this issue.
Lola XOXO is off to a good start. I'm intrigued as to where the title character will end up next in her journey and what she'll find if she does make it to her destination. Will she find her parents? Are they even still alive? At the very least I'm looking forward to what the rest of this world will look like in Siya Oum's capable hands.