By Ashley Gibbs
After the first issue of this series caught my attention, as the music linked to it, I found myself looking forward to what Skin & Earth #2 would have to offer, despite my suspicions as to where the story would lead. Set it in world destroyed by polish where the rich get richer and the poor just work and die off, this series is done by the musician Lights. She writes it and does all of the artwork which is very commendable, it’s entirely her vision. Her new album is also linked to this comic and so far, two music videos have come out that reflect the story being told here which is great experience to see things coming to life in different mediums. This issue focuses on En’s relationship with her lover and its unfortunate end.
The first issue showed us En’s horrible world, but that she found a small bit of hope in a man named Priest. He taught her things, they spent time together and seemed happy which is why I wasn’t surprised that their love affair ends this issue. With only six issues, En is on a path of self-discovery and the best place to start is rock bottom. Ignoring the setting of these events, what’s being presented is a very real story of love and heartbreak and the writing took me into this world so I could share in En’s happiness, pain and confusion. It seems that other factors are at play here as Priest seems to be doing this for En’s own good but we shall see. As an added bonus, the diner they meet at is also seen in the music video “Giants” and in one panel you can see a mysterious hooded woman with white hair who is also featured in the video.
While I am interested in the story being told I am not the biggest fan of the artwork in this comic. It’s not bad but it does seem amateurish. My greatest issue is with faces, at times the perspectives are weird and it can be distracting and movement and poses can be a bit stiff. However, the messages are conveyed well and my personal favorite scenes are when En and Priest are close together, holding and kissing one another. These scenes have the most fluid motions and readable emotions. Also, the backgrounds are well done and show a good attention to detail. I found the last issue a bit too monotone but I found myself more impressed with the use of colors here. Especially so in the last few panels when En is at rock bottom, I liked the purple tint everything had, while this may seem minor it stood out since the world is so dark.
So far the story is pretty simple but well written and the main character is enjoyable. I really do love how things are presented in a mix media linking comics to music, Lights’ latest video “Skydiving” shows the musician working on artwork for the comic and the song is linked to the love affair En had with Priest. Skin & Earth #2 presented something a lot of us can relate to unfortunately, heartbreak is never easy and after seeing it built up in this story the inevitable fall had an impact. But I want to see where En goes from here, she’s lost and hopeless in a dark and unforgiving world which could spell a lot of trouble. I recommend trying this series out, and hope the plot will develop in the next issue.
Skin & Earth #2
Writer & Artist: Lights
Publisher: Dynamite Comics