Review: Crude #4

Darryll Robson Darryll Robson
Expert Contributor
July 18th, 2018

Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.

Review: Crude #4
Comics
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Review of: Crude #4
Price:
Emotional Drama

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On July 18, 2018
Last modified:July 18, 2018

Summary:

Crude issue 4 continues to push the emotional narrative forward through the use of excellent art work. All of the creators are working on the same page, literally and figuratively, as they produce a comic which flows effortlessly from panel to panel, page to page.

Review of: Crude #4
Price:
Emotional Drama

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On July 18, 2018
Last modified:July 18, 2018

Summary:

Crude issue 4 continues to push the emotional narrative forward through the use of excellent art work. All of the creators are working on the same page, literally and figuratively, as they produce a comic which flows effortlessly from panel to panel, page to page.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

The Russian based revenge story that is Crude reaches its forth issue this week. New from Image Comics and reviewed by our contributor, Darryll Robson, Crude continues to push the boundaries of art and narrative.

Deep in the heart of Russia, a safe haven for those wishing to live their lives without judgement or interference has been turned into a den of extortion and violence. Steve Orlando and Garry Brown have created a character driven story which revolves around the bond between father and son. All of those emotions that a father feels during a child’s upbringing are enhanced and experienced through the central character’s journey into the unknown. The worry; the anger; the frustration; and the undying love are all part of the story.

On the surface Crude may seem like a simple vigilante story but this is just a front for the family relationship narrative running behind.

Synopsis

In the heart of Blackstone, Piotr continues his violent search for the those responsible for the death of his son.

But his actions haven’t gone unnoticed: now every group fighting for dominance of Blackstone are hunting him down.

Story continues below

Dreams of Kiril as a child haunt Piotr but new revelations could change everything just as the gangs start to close in.

Credit: Image Comics

Analysis

This issue has some big, violent, action in in but it’s the relationship between Piotr and his deceased son which takes centre stage.

Steve Orlando and Garry Brown open the issue in spectacular style with a violent, highly choreographed fight scene. The aggression and anger is felt in each panel and page as Brown focuses on Piotr’s animal like fighting style to illustrate the emotions that feed the character. The dominant blue colouring, with dark red splashes for the blood, highlight the coldness of the scene. These actions are not of a man enjoying himself; he is clearly fuelled by vengeance and an internal need to bring the killers of his son to a kind of vigilante justice.

This opening sequence is a perfect set up for the rest of the issue because Orlando and Co use the emotions set up in the beginning to explore Piotr’s relationship with his son. The pace of the comic slows down after the first few pages and the world around the characters begins to expand. This is an issue where secrets are revealed and they feed directly into that opening fight scene causing Piotr, and through him the reader, to question his actions.

There is a juxtaposition between Piotr’s memories of his son and the man that he became, as seen through those he lived and worked with. This contrast, as I have mentioned, is the heart of this issue with the cold, clinical nature of the opening fight suddenly becoming muddied. Piotr even seems to physically shrink in the panels as Brown changes the view point so that the other characters in the panels appear larger; viewing Piotr from below so the others loom over him. The physical representation of Piotr reflects the sudden turmoil of his emotions as his simple views of the world and his son are thrown into the air.

Credit: Image Comics

This is a comic that loves to emphasis single moments. As the story itself is a cover for a deeper, emotional story that the creators wish to tell, the art work represents pivotal moments in Piotr’s emotional development often by changing a panel to stand out in some way from those around it. For example; in one sequence Lee Loughridge alters the colours of the back ground from the murky blues covering most of the page to a vibrant orange. Not only does this help to highlight the impact of rubber bullet striking Piotr but it emphasises the gut shot that he is about to get when he finally meets some people who knew his son.

Something similar happens with the speech. There is a lot of text in this issue, a lot of exposition, but Tomas Mauer manages to keep it under control, choosing overlapping or linked speech balloons depending on which part of the speech needs to be emphasised. He litters the balloons with bold text but surprisingly it is the separated speech that makes the most impact: long conversations within linked balloons stop with the final sentence or few words in their own balloon, indicating the pause taken by the character. This technique is used effectively throughout Crude helping to pace the scenes and add that element of surprise or shock.

Story continues below

Crude is building into a spectacular series. From the turns of the opening issue to the twists at the heart of this one, the creators keep the readers on the edge of their seats. Beautifully orchestrated fight sequences effortlessly lead into touching family dramas. This is a surprising comic and the tension and excitement is building month after month. There’s no question about any of the readers coming back for issue 5

Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. He has a much underused Twitter account: @DarryllRobson, and his own website comiccutdown.com where he writes more about comics.

Crude #4

  • 4

Emotional Drama

Crude issue 4 continues to push the emotional narrative forward through the use of excellent art work. All of the creators are working on the same page, literally and figuratively, as they produce a comic which flows effortlessly from panel to panel, page to page.

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