Spotlight – TART (Kechal Comics)
By: Kevin Joseph – Ludovic Salle
The immediate reaction is to fall in love. The image on the cover is flat out gorgeous. Ludovic Salle makes beautiful art. Seriously. The coloring is a delight as well. The first issue is a jump, straight into the thick of the story. A cutesy, pin uppish female is the ‘lead’ of the book. She hunts demons and does good. There are other elements and clearly a supernatural theme to the bigger picture. There’s not too much exposition given and hardly any explanation to the actualities. That’s ok though. The first issue keeps you turning the pages. The newspaper feel and hallucinogenic palette type draw you further in. While details are sketchy it is clear that our featurette has done this before. Our story isn’t brand new and this chase has been done before. That leads us to the conclusion that the first issue is done this way on purpose. It’s a “this is what this is” as opposed to “this is what it will be.” We don’t mind the up front, right in the middle of it all approach. The other elements of the book keep the interest on high. As we transition to the second issue the styling difference is immediate. We took a quick look ahead to the third issue and yes, everything is toned according to the particular time/place our heroine is caught. Excellently done. We say caught because it is clear that she is not controlling the literal ins and outs she experiences. This is her job and her abilities and gifts were given to her, but by whom? This time it’s not the 50’s. No, we’re smack dab in the Ice Age apparently. Throughout the rest of this issue and on through issue 3 we are given more exposition and more pieces to the puzzle of what’s going on. Time travel and surely multi-dimensional aspects are at play given that TART is chasing around demons to keep things straight for our world and time line. It’s a time travel tale with an oven fresh take on the execution of the tale.
We were able to read through the first collected editions (Issues 1-3) and very much like what we got. As stated before the artwork, coloring, and styling hooked us immediately. The flowing in and out of styles to fit the time and placement of Tart is a very nice touch. It really does help craft the overall tale and properly bring across the feel of where and when they story is. Sometimes a shifting in look/feel from issue to issue and even page to page is jarring and unwelcome. Not here. It fits and enhances the book(s). Ludovic Salle is a hidden gem. Kevin Joseph’s writing is very pointed and targeted in the manner of which he wants to unravel the tale. Again, we don’t mind it and in reality, after reading the issues over a second time we caught more in the telling than we thought was there in the first read through. It’s a low key approach as it appears to be simply a telling of the action. That’s not the case at all. There’s more to it than that and there are bits and pieces of the puzzle woven into things. Joseph manages also, to bring us both the first person directness through Tart herself as well as the bigger world of the book.
Overall we enjoyed this read. Great imagery and deceptively good writing fill TART’s pages. We recommend checking it out.