RippaVerse: Isom 2 Review

Published: 17th September 2023, by Andrew Radbourne.

My musings about Rippaverse ISOM #2 - is it deserving of the hype or hate

Greetings everyone,

Approaching this review, I was initially hesitant, after all, comic book reviews aren't the standard fare of this channel, and on top of that, I was unsure whether my take on these particular comics would resonate with a wider audience. However, unfazed by the pursuit of popular opinion, I dove headfirst into it, delving into a pastime that has occupied me for over 40 years.

Venturing into this sphere not only as an avid reader but as an amateur artist and writer, I have both designed and self-published my own creations. Though my successes pale in comparison to the trajectory of Eric's achievements, I wholeheartedly believe he is deserving of his triumphs. His hard work and dedication to creating ISOM represent an iconic moment in Indie comic history.

I purchased the first instalment of Isom out of respect and a desire to support Eric, even though the $70 price tag put a dent in my wallet. Despite the second edition being more reasonably priced at $60, the cost was still a stretch for a single comic. However, I judged it to be worthwhile.

In reviewing these comics, I've tried to sidestep significant spoilers and maintain an overview approach.
ISOM struck me as an average piece of comic literature, and the main character Avery/ISOM left me feeling disconnected and felt a bit callous based on his inner dialogue. Moreover, the comic seemed more focused on setting the universe's stage rather than deep-diving into character development – this I believe could've been better balanced.

In terms of artwork, while it was commendable, it lacked some depth. This absence in detailing was carried on to issue two, in part though it is better.

I also struggled with the dialogue. As a reader, I found myself mentally rewriting it, thus obstructing my engagement in the narrative set forth.

Despite my qualms about the first instalment, I decided to invest in issue two. I've often found myself aligning with Eric's viewpoints and wanted to continue supporting his work. Moreover, Eric's comics are not specifically 'Anti-woke' culture as many have suggested. Instead, they strive to offer a fun, immersive reading experience and are apolitical.

The physical quality of both instalments exceeded my expectations. Arriving promptly and in mint condition, each edition was solidly crafted, vibrantly coloured and printed on quality paper. However, a thought lingered at the back of my mind about the exorbitant shipping costs, which may have been unnecessarily inflated due to the branded packaging.

Moving on to issue two's artwork, Cliff Richards' penmanship and detailed rendering greatly contribute to the comics' overall appeal. The layout and angles were well-thought-out and contributed consistently to the storytelling element. While the use of shadows was masterful, the artwork does occasionally feel rigid and lacks dynamism.

The story in itself was fine but often felt as if it was setting up yet more backdrops and teasing mysteries, leading to a somewhat fragmented flow of narrative. As for the dialogue, it did improve, it still lacked an authentic feel, hindering me from fully immersing themselves in the story.

Avery/ISOM was portrayed more engagingly in the second issue, thankfully. However, his reasons for quitting didn't fully answer the questions raised by his first issue monologue. Despite his many enigmatic statements, it seemed that the narrative missed the mark in terms of generating sufficient intrigue.

Despite these drawbacks, I commend Eric on his valiant effort in crafting these pieces, especially considering this is only his second instalment. His approach to veer away from the mainstream and take the reins in his hands is laudable and warrants support. Although I lean more toward the project's overall vision rather than the actual narrative, the series shows potential and improves with each instalment.

In conclusion, from a new reader's perspective, the first issue might not compel them to pick up the second. However, I plan to complete the arc with issue three, with the hope of a more cohesive and captivating narrative. Torn between agreeing with and critiquing a creator I respect, I've strived to deliver a critique that is both fair and honest. As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Peace out!
Noir Graphic Novel
Marked Graphic Novel by Andrew Radbourne