Sep 18, 2014

Review: George Perez's Sirens

"I used to say that if I cursed the name of a writer while reading a script, I would likely become a better artist when I finish drawing it. George Pérez the artist hopes to curse out George Pérez the writer as many times as possible." -George Perez

So, full disclosure. George Perez is my favorite artist. Of all time. Ever. I met him eight years ago and giggled like a five-year-old child who had just made his first pun and thought he was so clever. As a result, there is absolutely no way the following review is going to come close to being objective. But you're here, still reading this, so I guess you don't care. So, let's get to it.

There will certainly be people who say that Sirens, Perez's title that involves a team of remarkable women from different points in history (each one based on a cosplayer), has way too much going on, and that is absolutely true. There are more than a few 11-panel pages in the issue. Virtually none of it is for an additional effect like extending a moment to make it linger, or to cut one moment up into multiple moments with polyptychs. Pretty much all of it is because the story is so packed and so much is going on, and Perez has to finish this in six issues, so he crams as much as he can within each page. It might strain some eyes, especially since there are so many words. There's a whole lot going on, you might be tempted to keep a scorecard.

But I've always liked that feeling, which is partly why I love Perez so much in the first place. So let's move on to something else.

The story itself is intriguing because it takes place throughout multiple time periods and we're introduced to characters in a non-linear fashion. There are scenes in ancient Rome, 1104 AD Iceland, the old West, 1949 Alabama, and outer space in the future. That's where each Siren comes from, and it's very ambitious because there are so many different backgrounds and so many little details to make authentic.

Each Siren is based on a cosplayer, and each one comes off as a full-blown character. No one is in it to strictly be eye candy (and one of them's naked throughout the entire comic). So that's a good thing.

The story's not fleshed out yet, and I suspect it will be one of those things that become clear when everything is over in six months. I'm willing to wait for it to clarify itself, but again, I like chaos in my ensemble books, so if that kind of thing turns you off, this book might not be for you.

No, oddly enough, my one complaint about the entire book is the art. Maybe it's because I'm so used to Perez's artwork being of a certain standard, but this is the first book he's ever done that I've read where I was noticing anatomical mistakes (I tried, but I don't see how Miss Bishop, the first time we see her, doesn't have an incredibly short arm), generic expressions (there's a sequence where everyone's half-face is shown — a technique I find tired, to begin with — and their facial expressions are just too bland and exaggerated that it was out of place), and I thought the inking in some parts was sloppy, with thick lines that could have been thinner and vice versa.

But my biggest complaint about the art has to do with the coloring, which (and maybe this is because I read this right after Blue Rose) is, frankly, pretty flat. Shades aren't gradiated, but separated completely, so there are no transitions from one shade of, say, green, to another. The result is a pretty lackluster, and, to my eyes anyway, a pretty garish coloring job.

That's about it for Sirens. I'm sorry this review wasn't helpful. I tried. I'm gonna keep buying the series, but it's hardly Perez's best work. But then again, I don't think it's meant to be.

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