People often ask me what it is about comics that draws me to them more than any other medium of entertainment and it boils down to the stories. The range of stories is something you’ll find in no other genre with the exception of literature which is like comic books’ old brother. Sometimes that older brother is cool, other times you’re like, “go be a textbook.” Celestial is a story that probably wouldn’t be as successful outside of the medium which is why I’m glad that it’s a comic book. The story opens on a fishing boat in the middle of the ocean. There’s a storm in affect and so the men are pulling in their nets. As they dump their load one of the men discovers something… something that was caught among the fish. The captain describes it as a miracle while one of his crew members freaks out and says that the mystery object will be the death of them all.
From here we meet Jean and Bernice. Jean is super rich and that’s basically his job. Bernice is his trophy wife and it’s clear very quickly that there’s no love between the couple. Bernice isn’t happy and hates the way that Jean spends all their money, but she’s a part of his collection so she’s never allowed to leave him. We meet Jean’s accountant/handler as he brings in some objects that Jean’s bought from auction. We quickly learn that the accountant and Bernice are up to something involving Jean’s money. Later the couple goes to diner where Jean flirts with the coat-girl in front of his wife. He’s confronted by another man that’s super rich. The man gives him a hard time about buying everything that seems to come across the local actions. Jean’s tough to read as he tells the man that if he wants any of the objects to just ask and he’ll let them go, but the man declines out of pride. Well eventually the object the sailors found comes across the auction table and Jean and the man he pissed off get into a bidding war.
The story is so straight-forward and simple that it should be boring. Parts of it are even obvious as they’re foreshadowed early on in the story and yet I couldn’t put this book down. I started reading it casually between working on other things and soon enough I was sucked in. Nothing was more important than the story I was reading. The simplicity and straight-forward nature is actually what makes the story work. It’s all leading up to a mystery and when it’s revealed you have no idea where the story is going to go from there. All you know is that it’s going to be interesting and even more mysterious.
The pacing for the plot is perfect. You’re never stuck in one scene for too long which is good since there are really only a handful of settings that the story goes to. Jean is an interesting character because you almost like him especially compared to Bernice who only talks about money. But Jean’s true nature is eventually revealed and you can’t help but feel for Bernice… a little, not a lot.
Part of what makes Jean so likeable is the art. His charming looks and gentle demeanor go a long way in depicting a misunderstood billionaire. The art is intense as the coloring gives the book a very dark look. It’s intentional as it plays to the tone of the story and never allows you to forget that this is a dark mystery. The character’s facial expressions are very good and help give the tone and attitude to the dialog.
I really got into this story and enjoyed the ending. It ends the only way it can and I was perfectly fine with that. It does leave something to the imagination which I also liked. You would never find this story at a big publisher which is a shame since it’s quite good and worthy of praise and attention. All you can do is support Celestial with a purchase; even though you’re buying a comic you’re really buying an experience.
Writer/Creator: Nick Gillespie Artist: Ulises Carpintero Publisher: Enigmatic Publications Price: $3.99 to $4.99 Available on Amazon, Nook, Graphicly and iBooks