Wednesday, 4 November 2015

So I Read Ody-C: Off To Far Ithica

A 250 word (or less) review of Ody-C Volume 1
by Matt Fraction, Christian Ward, Chris Eliopoulos, Dee Cunniffe; Image Comics

Ody-C is a psychedelic space sojourn set in a distant future. In some ways it is familiar: Ody-C is literally a cultural/genre translation of Homer's Odyssey that sees mythic heroes transfigured into futuristic warriors who are lost in space. That said, Ody-C is also very much it's own thing too: the translational choices create a bizarre future where men are all but extinct and a culture of proud warrior women of alien custom struggle through the whims of capricious gods. It's pretty trippy stuff and a pretty unusual comics experience. The strength of Ody-C, beyond its concept, is the artwork of Christian Ward who has created a fluid, alien aesthetic married to innovative layouts which anchor the psychedelic sensibilities of the story and sells the sheer otherness of the comic. It's also gorgeous to look at. What is a bit more unclear to me is how the story of the comic interacts with the artwork: by being fairly literal in their translation of the Odyssey, Team Ody-C is melding a massive oral/prose construction to sequential art. At times, this can be a pretty cool fusion of media that makes the comic feel like an imagined version of a told story. At other times, the incomplete interface of narration and artwork makes Ody-C feel more like an illustrated story than a comic. Overall, I'd say the result is ambitious and interesting, if a little flawed at times, and that ultimately, Ody-C is a unique thing worth a look.

Word count: 247

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