Isola, Vol. 1
An evil spell has been cast on the Queen of Maar and her Captain of the Guard will do anything to reverse it. Their only hope lies on an island half a world away--a place known in myth as Isola, land of the dead.Gotham Academy creators Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl reunite with series colorist MSASSYK and letterer Aditya Bidikar for a breathtaking fantasy adventure two decades in the making.Recommended for fans of Studio Ghibli and the work of Hayao Miyazaki.Collects issues 1 through 5.

Isola, Vol. 1 Details

TitleIsola, Vol. 1
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 30th, 2018
PublisherImage Comics
ISBN-139781534309227
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Fantasy, Graphic Novels Comics

Isola, Vol. 1 Review

  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful art with an engaging story. Individual issue reviews: #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5Total review score: 4
  • Wing Kee
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful art, choppy story.World: The art is fantastic, it looks gorgeous and reminds me of a western take on Ghibli and Miyazaki art. There are hints of Nausicaa in the wall paintings and books and Rook and her journey looks straight ripped from Princess Mononoke so yeah, you know what they say about imitation and flattery. The world building here is choppy at best. There are flash backs but the world is almost constantly dream like and not and the transitions in the art is not clear so when t Wonderful art, choppy story.World: The art is fantastic, it looks gorgeous and reminds me of a western take on Ghibli and Miyazaki art. There are hints of Nausicaa in the wall paintings and books and Rook and her journey looks straight ripped from Princess Mononoke so yeah, you know what they say about imitation and flattery. The world building here is choppy at best. There are flash backs but the world is almost constantly dream like and not and the transitions in the art is not clear so when there is no info dumping or context set up reader do feel lost in the world. There are snippets of info here and there and in the end you do work it out a bit but the lost feeling is not a welcome one, I didn't feel swept away into another world I just felt like I was jerked around or the writing wanted to withhold things to make it more interesting but it just lost it's magic more than anything. I had a similar feeling with 'Monstress' also but I felt it was a bit more here. Of course you can say that Ghibli world building is mostly visual and readers and viewers are taken on a journey and the creative team possibly was trying to do the same thing here, but here it felt choppy.Story: Readers have no idea what's happening until almost midway through the 3rd issue and for the most part the first half of the book seems dreamlike and I know that it's the intention of the creative team but I didn't feel swept away I felt like I was wearing a blindfold forced by the writers to make the story more magical than it needs to be. I don't know how to explain it but the story was already magical enough for me and the art, as beautiful as it was, didn't really transition well between real and fake and the magic was not all hitting home for me. The story when it does finally pick up is very basic and this is more like a prologue in a story more than the journey. This is pretty much like the middle section of Princess Monoke when they are in the forest and Ashitaka is lost there, that's what the book is going for but there is not enough emotional substance for us to care for the characters because we don't get to spend time with them to build a bond before the dreamscape stuff happens. Ashitake had the village and the curse and the monster fight before he left on his journey, I think if we had something similar here than readers would be more invested in the characters moving forward.Characters: The characters look interesting that's for sure. Moro however looks too similar to the clansman and the art did no favours to differentiate them. Rook is an interesting character but there is not a lot of depth there and there is no reason for her devotion to the Queen and it's barely touched upon by the writers but readers are expected to accept it and feel emotions. The Queen also has little to no development save the one scene in the throne when she turns and once again we are suppose to feel for them. The rest of the cast are there to bulk up the story much like Moro is suppose to be the interesting weird guide that we see a lot of in literature and anime/manga. Shallow.An interesting prologue of a first book that looks gorgeous but is shallow and empty inside. I'm sad.Onward to the next book!*read individual issues*
    more
  • Devann
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely an interesting concept and a solid beginning, although there wasn't really a lot of explanation so I was a bit confused at times. Still, the art is absolutely gorgeous and I'm sure we'll get more into the mechanics of the plot in the next volume so I'm looking forward to continuing with this.
    more
  • Roy
    January 1, 1970
    The art in this blew me away. Such amazing colours and art. The story doesnt give alot away until middle of the book. It provided enough to stem my interest for future novels. It had a weird Studio Ghibli final fantasy vibe mixed with Pocahontas.
  • Jakub Kvíz
    January 1, 1970
    Tohle je spis 3,5*, na 4* to uplne neni, protoze se priznam ze se v deji dost ztracim. Nevim jestli mi pro uplny pochopeni chybi ty kratky pribehy, ktery vychazel ve Fletcherove predchozi serii Motor Crush, ale moudrej z toho nejsem.Nicmene vizualne je to absoluni vrchol. Nadherna kresba, super atmosferickej coloring a kreativni lettering. Celkovej design jednotlivejch sesitu je absolutni vrchol toho, co se da z “papiru” vymackat.Treba na druhy precteni to do sebe vic zapadne, ale zatim tomu nem Tohle je spis 3,5*, na 4* to uplne neni, protoze se priznam ze se v deji dost ztracim. Nevim jestli mi pro uplny pochopeni chybi ty kratky pribehy, ktery vychazel ve Fletcherove predchozi serii Motor Crush, ale moudrej z toho nejsem.Nicmene vizualne je to absoluni vrchol. Nadherna kresba, super atmosferickej coloring a kreativni lettering. Celkovej design jednotlivejch sesitu je absolutni vrchol toho, co se da z “papiru” vymackat.Treba na druhy precteni to do sebe vic zapadne, ale zatim tomu nemuzu dat s cistym svedomi vic :).
    more
  • Alex B
    January 1, 1970
    Art - Beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, incredible, colourful, smart, and jaw-dropping.Story - Beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, incredible, colourful, smart, and jaw-dropping.
  • The Lost Dreamer
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely one of the comic books I've enjoyed most this year. It has everything I love: addictive and bright colouring, dynamic drawing, some mytery and a subtle but heart-warming romance. This is the kind of American comic that tries to imitate Japanese pieces, like the ones produced by Studio Ghibli. Normally these attempts lack of a good plot or the art necessary to produce any emotion. For me, 'Isola' is not the case: its plot, although quite simple and avoiding of any explanation or worldb Definitely one of the comic books I've enjoyed most this year. It has everything I love: addictive and bright colouring, dynamic drawing, some mytery and a subtle but heart-warming romance. This is the kind of American comic that tries to imitate Japanese pieces, like the ones produced by Studio Ghibli. Normally these attempts lack of a good plot or the art necessary to produce any emotion. For me, 'Isola' is not the case: its plot, although quite simple and avoiding of any explanation or worldbuilding, has captured me like few in the last months. What can I say? It's just BEAUTIFUL. Thrilling and full of emotions and beautiful images. Sometimes you don't need anymore than that. Probably any following issues will spoil the magic trying to provide explanations to every single twist or spending too much time building the world that our soldier and our queen inhabit. But, by now, this has been lovely. An easy reading full of imagination that just feels right.
    more
  • -RadioactiveBookworm-
    January 1, 1970
    "Isola" is a haunting and beautifully done comic following a queen and her guard. Though I'm not really sure how to describe the kind of story this is, there's a lot going on and yet there's not a lot of information about it. A woman who will do all she can to protect her queen, who's a lion for most of the story. It's bloody and violent at times, but for most of it I kind of just felt like I was dreaming. Is that weird to say? That's the only way I can describe it. I loved it.Check out my full "Isola" is a haunting and beautifully done comic following a queen and her guard. Though I'm not really sure how to describe the kind of story this is, there's a lot going on and yet there's not a lot of information about it. A woman who will do all she can to protect her queen, who's a lion for most of the story. It's bloody and violent at times, but for most of it I kind of just felt like I was dreaming. Is that weird to say? That's the only way I can describe it. I loved it.Check out my full review here!https://radioactivebookreviews.wordpr...
    more
  • charlotte
    January 1, 1970
    WHAT do u mean january 2019
  • Kend
    January 1, 1970
    You know, this didn't make perfect sense to me at first, but as the issues went on the plot fell into place. And the visuals are GAWGEOUS, DARLING. And there's very definitely a queer interracial relationship going on, which sensitively and beautifully written. Here. For. IT.
    more
  • kynndra-jo
    January 1, 1970
    Such beautiful art. I'm just getting into the comic world and I'm leaning towards more outlandish type comics that don't delve down the super hero lane. Definitely looking forward to this one!
  • Theediscerning
    January 1, 1970
    A young woman adventurer is accompanying a tiger across the countryside on a quest. Just why she's all alone with the big cat, and why she calls it a Majesty and her Queen, may or may not be covered in these pages. That initial beginning certainly proves to be a key to a very mystical fantasy realm, and a very visually attractive one, too. There may be a little too much of the mystical other-worlds and semi-English hokum from one character in particular on these pages, but the clarity of the pie A young woman adventurer is accompanying a tiger across the countryside on a quest. Just why she's all alone with the big cat, and why she calls it a Majesty and her Queen, may or may not be covered in these pages. That initial beginning certainly proves to be a key to a very mystical fantasy realm, and a very visually attractive one, too. There may be a little too much of the mystical other-worlds and semi-English hokum from one character in particular on these pages, but the clarity of the piece doesn't suffer too much. It's a very engaging read, and with those looks this is a book well worth checking out. A strong four stars.
    more
  • Harry Jahnke
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this very much. Unlike a lot of fantasy books I've read, it didn't spend a long time explaining the history and rules of this universe, it just kind of throws you in. And yet, I never really felt lost. A lot of things get conveyed with very little dialogue or background which is kind of ingenious if you ask me. Highly recommend for fans of Saga waiting for the hiatus to be over.
    more
  • Simon
    January 1, 1970
    While this would have been nothing new in book form, a fantasy comic is, sadly, a bit of a rare beast and seeing even a simple story like this is a pleasant surprise. Especially when it feels fleshed out right away, in no small part thanks to lively language with sprinkles of slang here and there. While the art makes it all feel, at times, a bit too cartoonish, the book is definitely not afraid to get dark when necessary. For me, this had especially strong vibes of Benedict Patrick's stuff, name While this would have been nothing new in book form, a fantasy comic is, sadly, a bit of a rare beast and seeing even a simple story like this is a pleasant surprise. Especially when it feels fleshed out right away, in no small part thanks to lively language with sprinkles of slang here and there. While the art makes it all feel, at times, a bit too cartoonish, the book is definitely not afraid to get dark when necessary. For me, this had especially strong vibes of Benedict Patrick's stuff, namely his first book in Yarnsworld - They Mostly Come Out At Night. It's the same dark fantasy type of storytelling that mixes down-to-earth characters such as roving hunter packs with insane magic like people stitching crow wings onto their hands. More of this, please.
    more
  • Austin
    January 1, 1970
    Gorgeous, but abstruse. We're thrown into the deep end without much - if any - story-telling aid, and while we're a little ways further down the road at the end of volume 1, this fantastical world and the creatures within are still largely obscured.Kerschl's art excels, as always, and the story has enough bite to intrigue the reader, but if answers and broad sketches don't appear soon, this one will drop.Obscurity for obscurity's sake only serves to annoy, and readers need to know we're going so Gorgeous, but abstruse. We're thrown into the deep end without much - if any - story-telling aid, and while we're a little ways further down the road at the end of volume 1, this fantastical world and the creatures within are still largely obscured.Kerschl's art excels, as always, and the story has enough bite to intrigue the reader, but if answers and broad sketches don't appear soon, this one will drop.Obscurity for obscurity's sake only serves to annoy, and readers need to know we're going somewhere eventually.
    more
  • Yves Loomans
    January 1, 1970
    Made me think of Princess Mononoke but without the ecological aspect. Including the most poetic and gorgeous art you’ll find this year.
  • Candace Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    it's so pretty and i like it a lot but wHaT tHe hEcK iS gOiN oN
  • Chris Lemmerman
    January 1, 1970
    [Read as single issues]Here’s a question that I’m sure a lot of people have pondered over across the years – “What do you do when your Queen is transformed into a navy blue tiger, and your entire kingdom has fallen apart around you?” If you answered “Go on a quest to a mystical land called Isola, in hopes that it can cure the Queen, who can then in turn save the kingdom”, then you’re a liar, and/or you’ve read this book already. Isola, the new epic from the Gotham Academy team of Brendan Fletche [Read as single issues]Here’s a question that I’m sure a lot of people have pondered over across the years – “What do you do when your Queen is transformed into a navy blue tiger, and your entire kingdom has fallen apart around you?” If you answered “Go on a quest to a mystical land called Isola, in hopes that it can cure the Queen, who can then in turn save the kingdom”, then you’re a liar, and/or you’ve read this book already. Isola, the new epic from the Gotham Academy team of Brendan Fletcher and Karl Kerschl, is unapologetic in its density. I’d liken it to Monstress, in that you’re thrown immediately into the action and left to work out what the hell is going on, how this world works, and what happened before the series started to get the characters into the situations that we find them in as the series begins. There are questions that get answered across these first five issues – there are questions that are not. But the world of Isola will suck you in like nothing else, and you’ll definitely want to find out those answers. This is because the two lead characters are so compelling, especially once you come to realise that there’s more to their relationship than just Queen and subject and, considering the fact that one of the lead characters can’t even talk, I’d say it’s a huge achievement that I was so invested in them by the end.The huge draw for me personally was the artwork; Karl Kerschl’s beautiful foregrounds are once again enhanced by Msyssk’s gorgeous backdrops, and there are some panels in this series that will make your jaw drop. The colours are so vivid, and the expressions on the characters are sublime – this is again prevalent with the character of the Queen; you’ll be surprised by how expressive a tiger face can be. Honestly, this is just a feast for the eyeballs, even if you don’t read any of the words.Isola is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, but you’ll want to peel back all of the layers and discover what’s going on at its core. For the first time in a long time, I want to re-read the trade once it’s released, to see if any of the earlier issues reveal anything more given what we see in the later ones. With fabulous art and two lead characters that manage to say so much without saying a word, Isola is another hit for Image, and a home run for this tried and true creative team.
    more
  • Adam Stone
    January 1, 1970
    This is a gorgeous book of myth, love, and spirits that suffers from one of my least favorite tropes: using dreams in place of metaphor or narrative.The concept of a soldier on a mission to protect her queen, who is currentloy in the form of a tiger, is intriguing, but the conceit of fogweed making it so that the reader doesn't know whether the character is halucinating feels ill-used in this collection. Twice within a few pages, the reader is confronted with a major death that comes out of nowh This is a gorgeous book of myth, love, and spirits that suffers from one of my least favorite tropes: using dreams in place of metaphor or narrative.The concept of a soldier on a mission to protect her queen, who is currentloy in the form of a tiger, is intriguing, but the conceit of fogweed making it so that the reader doesn't know whether the character is halucinating feels ill-used in this collection. Twice within a few pages, the reader is confronted with a major death that comes out of nowhere, and isn't real.I still recommend this book, as Karl Kerschl and Msassyk's art, from pencils to coloring, is exquisite. It's a five star art book.
    more
  • Paul Decker
    January 1, 1970
    *I received this book as an eARC from Image Comics via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*I really enjoyed this story. It's so fantastical. The artwork is beautiful. The design of the characters and the animals are great. The animals remind me of those in Avatar: The Last Airbender. There is no exposition in this book. You're thrown into the situation and have to figure out what's exactly happening. For some fantasy stories, there's so much info dumping. Not in this story. I give this bo *I received this book as an eARC from Image Comics via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*I really enjoyed this story. It's so fantastical. The artwork is beautiful. The design of the characters and the animals are great. The animals remind me of those in Avatar: The Last Airbender. There is no exposition in this book. You're thrown into the situation and have to figure out what's exactly happening. For some fantasy stories, there's so much info dumping. Not in this story. I give this book a 5/5. Great Storytelling. Gay romance. Beautiful artwork. A journey in a Fantasy world.
    more
  • Josh
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful art, but not a ton of story. Issues fly by quickly without much plot progression. Still worth a look because it's gorgeous and the minimalist story remains interesting throughout.
  • John
    January 1, 1970
    If your looking for something new and different this book is for you.
  • t.i.m
    January 1, 1970
    Confused AF, but I like it.
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    Original fantasy world. Beautiful colors. Only snippets of the story are revealed so far, but enough to make me want to keep reading and find out more.
  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    SOOOO pretty but so little story. I think I'd have been more engaged if more information had been dropped earlier than 2/3 of the way through rather than wandering lost through the scenery.
  • MarCypher
    January 1, 1970
    Incredible art!Interesting story, although I don't have much of a clue what is happening or where this is going.
  • Melina Ashali
    January 1, 1970
    3.5
Write a review