Comics

REVIEW: SPLIT by John Rodriguez and Mira Mortal

Written by Grace Davis

SPLIT is a new project from writer Mira Mortal and artist John Rodriguez (also known as JAR). It recently achieved full funding on Kickstarter and should be going into production soon. We at A Place to Hang Your Cape got the chance to read a preview version, and here’s what we thought!

SPLIT deals with very dark themes – tragedy, loss, and the immense strain of trying to deal with such things. SPLIT leaves you wondering, until the final few pages, just what is going on. The twist is, of course, rather important so I won’t attempt too much of a plot summary! Suffice it to say that the story is centred around a woman and her family and the issues they go through after facing a terrible event.

Personally I found the main twist quite easy to guess, suspecting it from the beginning. It was still an interesting read – and at only 48 pages it certainly isn’t a battle to get through. The story works at this length, the creators wisely have not dragged it out beyond the necessary which would have lessened its impact. The comic does do an excellent job of creating a pervasive sense of something being off balance, some strange emptiness haunting the family.

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The dialogue is minimalistic, the use of repetition seems to be doing a great job of showing the reader how bored and trapped the main character feels. However, without giving anything away, the ending seems to say the exact opposite. While this may be intended as part of the twist I found it to be slightly jarring and confusing, instead.

The colour work is beautifully vibrant and very well done, each page is definitely pleasing to look at. The care taken when choosing the colour palette shows to great effect. Similarly, the layout of each frame is very nicely done. The pictures are well balanced and dynamic. Movement of characters is handled fairly well and the artist certainly has his own eye-catching style.

The comic, described aptly by its creators as a comic-novella, is definitely aimed at more mature audiences. It is pretty dark and may not be for everyone – however, if that is your sort of thing then it’s a good, interesting read with a theme not often addressed in comic format.

To keep up to date with the progress of SPLIT and have a look at the creators’ previous work, check out John’s website here, Mira’s here or the Jar of Comics Facebook page!

About the author

Grace Davis