By Dustin Cabeal
Siya Oum’s Lola XoXo is a beautiful comic. It’s one that you could easily look at for days and days because of how gorgeous everything is and not just the title character of Lola. The world it creates is fairly interesting as well, a kind of post-apocalyptic world, but not in the vein of Mad Max. More like that terrible TV show Revolution, but only in the setting and style.
The problem I had with the first volume and the problem that’s continued here is that there’s no depth to anything. The story and characters are all surface level. There’s something special about Lola, but we’re not given any real info on that. She and the gang she’s riding with are on their way somewhere to somewhere but get interrupted by a gang of gas-mask wearing guys that are looking for a boy that has a source of bullets and promises a house with a yard to anyone willing to help him.
Lola narrates the entire story, but she doesn’t give any insight into the world or even her feelings. It’s just all a set piece or a witty line to set up the next scene. I know as much about Lola at the end of the issue as I did when I started the issue. The lack of character development doesn’t stop there; the entire supporting cast is limited to descriptions. There’s the bad guy, the father figure, the love interest. That’s all they are, but without any reason or depth. I have a hard time calling them one-dimensional because even that is a bit too much. They’re like background characters that accident said a line and got sucked into the story.
I read the entire issue, but it felt like three things happened the entire issue and there was such a huge disconnect between those three things. The issue spends more time with Lola in a towel than anything else, and there’s a gun fight at the end… I think most people would like to spend at least the same amount of time with the gun fight. The pacing is choppy; things are introduced and never concluded. One-liners are repeated, and bad guys help sell jokes instead of being bad.
Lola XoXo is beautiful to look at; the water colored look of the pages makes the title stand out, but the story. The story is forgettable and worse, boring. It’s not that it’s a chore to read, but rather you wonder if there’s a point in reading anything other than the one-liners. I like that Aspen is getting back to publishing more titles, I just wish that the stories were as good as the art.
Lola XoXo v2 #1
Creator: Siya Oum
Publisher: Aspen Comics