This is a superb book that really makes the most of the medium using illustration as well as words to reveal its story to the reader. Many mainstream titles forget that comics are a visual medium that work best by showing not telling the story. Not so with The Ballad as two or three pages will regularly pass without a speech bubble or a word of any kind. You feel a kind of guilty secret as you eavesdrop on the life of Dr Richardson and develop a real friendship for him as his tale unfolds.
This is a very mature (in the proper sense of the word) work which is surprising as it was published when the creator was only 22. He also did the whole thing himself from art to scripting which is no mean feat and was deservedly nominated for two Eisner awards. Both he and Dr Richardson are inspirations to us all.
The art is true black and white (no greys or cross-hatching) and so takes real skill to convey the realism we see on the page. It’s not a style I prefer but I have never seen it used better and was impressed by the amount I was able to perceive in only two colours. This is a great story that really uses the medium to its fullest and I really hope to read some more of the authors work. Definitely a Thumbs Up!
Tomorrow: Wonderland: Children of the Future Age – Derek Watson & Kit Wallis