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December 11, 2012

Touring the Cosmos: Change #1

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Written by: mike
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Publisher Image Comics is known for putting out work by people just like you and me. Of course, these people put a level of dedication and commitment in their work that would put them above others, which is why they have Image publish their work. New writer Ales Kot has just joined the Image team and comics scene with his work Change. This is not the first time Ales has had work published by Image, with the Wild Children (one-shot) being his first crack at writing comics. Now, paired with artist Morgan Jeske, Kot has the four issue mini-series Change in the works. Touring the Cosmos will look at the first issue released by Kot and co.

Change #1 (of 4)

Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Morgan Jeske
Colours: Sloane Leong
Letters: Ed Brisson
Cover Coloured By: Jordie Bellaire
Publisher: Image Comics


Newly found talent Ales Kot and artist Morgan Jeske have teamed with Image Comics to release the four issue mini-series, Change. The story centers around three unlikely heroes, who are aptly described as:

“A foul-mouthed struggling screenwriter who moonlights as a car thief. An obscenely wealthy rapper completely disconnected from the real world. A dying cosmonaut on his way back to Earth.”

The destruction of Los Angeles is imminent, and these are the only three capable of saving it. In a mythological twist, Los Angeles faces a fate similar to that of fabled Atlantis, as well as a giant Lovecraftian monster that lurks deep within the oceans of Earth, but is readily visible from space. There are other factors involved, but for those, you will just have to read for yourself.

Change definitely requires more than one read through. While in some cases this might be a bad thing, in Kot and Change‘s case it is very much a good thing. There is a lot to take in, and one read will just not do it justice. There is a lot to absorb when it comes to a brand new cast and story, and Kot really delves into the persona’s of his characters. Subtle touches in the art, and quite a few word and thought balloons are a lot to take in. Through the second read, you will be able to really immerse in the story. There are plenty of forces at work against the city of Los Angeles, and only a few of them are revealed in this first issue. The characters are explored well, and readers can walk away with a good sense of who they are. The story as a whole is at first a bit confusing. Kot has composed a large scope tale, that involves a lot of different elements. A few of them are touched upon in the first issue, but very vaguely. Being a four issue mini-series, the writer must have a clear ending in mind. Hopefully the next few issues will shed the right light on the story and make for a complete tale.

Ales Kot clearly has a very imaginative mind. He brings his creativity full mount in Change. While the setting may be familiar for some, being in Los Angeles, the characters and circumstances surrounding them are very unfamiliar. Most writers don’t go into the depths that Kot has in order to bring his story and characters to life. As you can see from the quote above, a lot of thought has been put into who he wants his characters to be. Being only one issue in, it is hard to tell where these characters will end up, but the sense of impending doom that Kot creates gives the reader a feeling of anxiety which enhances the whole experience. The little hints and suggestions that Kot has made about the overall story arc in issue #1 are just enough for a reader to come back for more.

Morgan Jeske’s art takes a little getting used to. At first it seems like Jeske is just an unorganized artist. Once you start to explore and stare at certain panels and pages, you will start to realize that every little nuance and touch that Jeske adds is exactly where it is supposed to be. There are a lot of objects, expressions, and actions that need the reader’s full attention. For some readers, this may be a bit too much, but isn’t that what comics are all about? Jeske forces readers to really immerse themselves in the story, and pay attention. Most will find that they get much more out of Change if they take a minute or two more than they are used to, to pay attention to every panel which Jeske has assembled. Jeske’s art manages to get the point across to readers all the while adding little extras for the more astute.

With only one issue so far, it is hard to find the relevance and connection between all of these factions working against the Earth. It is also hard to find or realize the connections between the three main characters. Hopefully the next three issues will provide the resolution. That being said, while answers were little, Change provides an engaging read, with hints of horror, humor, sci-fi, and honesty. Artist Morgan Jeske adds all the right little pieces in and off his panels that intensify the experience. Ales Kot is an up and coming writer that is worth keeping an eye on. While being fairly new to the industry, he has the right amount of creativity and imagination to work within the sci-fi realm. Change is not for all readers, but those that are willing to put a couple extra minutes into exploring panels and understanding characters will be more than happy.


Mike Parente



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