What’s more is that this takes place in modern times, which is a fresh take as opposed to a Middle Aged trudge of a read. Stickney has created the perfect sandbox to build stories within. Although I do hope he starts to write subplots soon, or else this story is gonna run dry, quick. Who else in town knows its secrets? What roles do these mythical beings play? If Stickney only follows Aleck and Lillian, it’s gonna be a huge missed opportunity. Take a lesson from Tolkien and start to create other story threads and weave them together. Katlyn and Cobb are good places to start, how do they respond the explosion (they’re not just gonna sit around are they?).
Speaking of story thread, the first two issues of White Ash are HEAVY in exposition. In fact, that’s my one large criticism of Stickney’s tale. The first two issues focused almost on entirely on laying ground work. Names, places and so forth. I feel like Stickney was so eager to introduce you to his Sandbox that he’s revealed quite a bit. Sorry, I don’t think White Ash would fare well in a “Mystery Comic” category. Stickney showed his hand a bit quickly.
As for the art, I was really happy with Conor Hughes ability to develop characters. His people drawing skills are fantastic and are reminiscent of Tim Sale. Each character is unique and doesn’t look like a copied/pasted depiction. Lillian is especially well drawn. However, I do think Stickney is walking a fine line when it comes to sexually objectifying women. You can’t just make female characters sexy and proceed as planned. Lillian better become more than a just flirt soon or else I’m calling foul on Stickney. It’s 2018 guys c’mon. If you want to call this a romance, you gotta be careful and not make the main female lead a one-dimensional babe with minimal backstory. Hopefully the next few issues remedies this.
Sorry, back to the art. As I mentioned before. The art is well done and Hughes should be commended. He, when appropriate, added detail to the town of White Ash, but otherwise focused on the characters at play. He also did a great job in deviating is style whenever mythos was discussed. I do wish that they brought on an inker as opposed to what felt like a tag team effort between him and the colorist Fin Cramb. Inkers add a level of depth to a comic and can heighten the visual experience. Plus, a third creative can evolve the work in ways the other two hadn’t considered. The book is a bit 2D sans-inker, but still great nonetheless. * *