Terry Moore is a creator that seems to either captivate you or rub you the wrong the way. Some comic readers really get and enjoy his well-crafted and yet different storytelling style and I mark myself amongst them. Rachel Rising is actually a book that Moore “tweeted” about a while back and said that it was going to be something very different from everything else creator owned that he’s done. Although I haven’t read his entire body of work (yes I know I need to pick up Strangers in Paradise), I can say that this is in fact very different but extremely interesting at the same time. The issue opens with a woman walking through the woods until see reaches a clearing with a gully below her. She lights a piece of paper on fire and sends it to the ground below her. After the paper finishes burning a hand rises from the ground and soon the rest of a woman’s body emerges from the soil below. The first woman begins to walk away as the buried woman covered in dirt rises from her shallow grave in a short black dress. There is a glimpse of a dark figure choking her from her POV in a flashback, before we see a mark that wraps around her neck. The other noticeable difference is the reddening of her eyes. She makes her way to the street and is picked up by a man driving by. He offers to take her to the hospital or at least stay with her to make sure she’s oaky, but she declines.
There’s a bit more to the story, but not enough to ruin the book for you. It’s very interesting and sets up the story for a mystery as Rachel will likely have to solve her own death. What’s really great about the issue and Moore’s work in general is the lack of narrative boxes and dialog. He tells you so much visually that I couldn’t help but be impressed with his storytelling talent. Literally half the book is without so much as a dialog bubble. Frankly it’s easy to have captions aka the "new thought bubbles" tell the story for you, but to be able to tell a story without and have it not only make sense but work is a great thing.
If you’ve never seen Terry Moore’s art then you’ve robbed your eyeballs of some of the best art in comics. His style is recognizable, but he manages to make the characters look as unique as his story. Sure you’ll always catch a glimpse of Strangers in Paradise within the art, but everything is hands down beautiful. Moore creates scenes and picturesque moments that at times have a background, mid-ground and foreground and each position is detailed and life like. What I particularly like about the art is that a scene can be very detailed and yet not overly detailed. Some artist can draw so much on a page, but if you can’t see the trees from the forest then it’s lost on the human eye. Moore actually draws a very lush forest in this issue and uses a balance of detail and black fill to create it wonderfully.
Rachel Rising is off to a very interesting start and frankly if you haven’t heard about it until now then you’re even further behind then I am. After finishing the first issue I’m going to be tracking down the next two issues that are already out and frankly you should join me in picking them up.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Terry Moore Publisher: Abstract Studios Price: $3.99