Fall is the latest comic offering from upstart writer, Fabian Rangel Jr., and 215 Ink. 215 is a publisher on the rise; even now they are known by comic aficionados worldwide (it’s true, my Australian and U.K contacts know all about them). The last book I checked out from 215 and Mr. Rangel was the inspired werewolf title Extinct. If you missed that story, be sure to check out our Extinct review and exclusive interview with Fabian here at Comic Booked. I have it on good authority that the collected issues of Extinct will be coming at you by way of a well-deserved TPB in the near future. Don’t sleep on it! So why am I talking about Extinct when this is a Fall review, I hear you mumble incoherently? Many of the themes on display in Extinct can be found here in the plot of Fall as well.
One of Mr, Rangel’s many strengths as a crafter of tales is the ability to convincingly convey young adult’s teenage angst and emotion in his writing. His young protagonists are moody, rebellious, and trying to find their place in an ever-changing world. So convincing does Mr. Rangel write teenagers, that I would highly recommend his work to young adult readers and seasoned veterans, without hesitation. Not that end product is immature by any means. Fabian’s writing works on many levels, and reminds me of classic coming of age stories that I enjoyed as a kid, and now can get even more out of that I am older. Fall in particular reminds me of E.T. The Extraterrestrial due to the the alien that plays a main role in the story, with certain similarities to King Kong as well.
I guess we should summarize the plot of Fall at this point. John is a teenage boy and unwilling transplant to a rural Texas town. He is unhappy, bullied, and feels isolated in his new situation, until the night another refugee that has escaped from a distant planet crashes a flying saucer and alien named Russ into John’s life. John is now host to an otherworldly companion, whether he likes it or not.
The two outsiders quickly develop a friendship that leads to John coming to grips with his his high school crush on a star-shirt wearing, hot-dish named Lisa. Unfortunately the bullies in John’s new school are unrelenting. How will John, and his new alien friend in particular, respond to these complications?
I dig the story told in Fall, even if it is cloaked in shades of Fabian Rangel’s earlier work in Extinct. This time around he is more polished and conscientious of pacing. Fall moves along at a nice clip, has a wild peak, and comes to an insightful resolution that will make every reader evaluate their own state of affairs long after the final page has been turned.
Art duties in Fall are handled by Juan Romera. Mr. Romera has a nice feel for illustrating visually pleasing perspectives and compositions that express the tale in an interesting manner. I have little doubt that Mr. Romera would be a wonderful cinematographer. He has a loose, minimalist, style that is not out of place in this title. I would, however, like to see more time spent polishing the art. The same goes for the coloring. Even with rudimentary software, limited experience, and minimal effort, I was able to tweak filters and saturation levels to make the art “pop” and be more vibrant. Granted, I read Fall in a digital format that may have been evolving in the process leading up to actual printing. I have no idea what deadlines the creators may have had, but more attention to detail in the inking would have made me happy, as well as made Fall more distinct and in line with the other art that I have seen from 215 Ink publications. Little flourishes like the Nirvana poster and a reference to Extinct (by way of the werewolf poster in the background) were a nice touch.
Minor criticisms aside, you should check out Fall. Who can’t love indie creators with this level of passion? Be sure to order Fall through Previews at your LCS (code: SEP111247), time is very limited so act fast! Side note – Fabian is a proud new father this week! I look forward to how being a patriarch will influence his evolution as a writer.
Thank you to Fabian Rangel Jr., Juan Romera, and 215 Ink for letting me review this new title. This company and these people do great work, and I just can’t wait to see what will come next. Be sure to check out Fabian online and keep your eyes on 215 Ink. I expect a bright future from them both!