When Aspen Comics Editor-in-Chief and writer Vince Hernandez announced his newest book “Trish Out of Water” he spoke about it in an excited tone that promised new storytelling avenues and a new style for the creator of “Charismagic” and writer of “Executive Assistant: Assassins.” The book starring Trish is the ninth book in Aspen’s “10 for 10” campaign and it stands apart from the rest as something different which is just what the writer is shooting for.
From dialogue to artwork, “Trish Out of Water” is a break from the Aspen staple, which is usually over-the-top action with beautifully drawn women. This series begins more quietly by getting into the head of Trish. Hernandez researched the character to be able to portray the feelings and attitudes of her as she undergoes a nightmare transformation that would not be a part of any normal teenager’s wildest dreams.
The change and the turmoil are all set up for the continuing series and not in line with the playful cover for the first issue, which depicts Trish as a stereotypical teenager with her thoughts of tweeting, texting and sleeping. The hook for the series comes from this turmoil but because Hernandez does so much character building with this issue you are invested in what is happening and the changes occurring in Trish’s life.
To do this Hernandez gets in the head of Trish using a lost art in comics, the thought balloon. Writers strayed away from the technique in favor of a caption box to give the narrative. Hernandez brings back thought balloons and uses them to get to the root of the character. They provide the insight and truth of what is going on.
Hernandez’s dialogue is rapid fire whether delivered in the thought balloon or through the traditional word balloon. It is snappy and witty and never feels forced capturing the feel of an ordinary teenager dealing with too many parties, too much homework and overbearing, argumentative parents.
“Trish Out of Water” is beautifully drawn by Giuseppe Cafaro. The reproduction of the art comes straight from his penciled work giving the book a less polished but stylish appearance. Usually a penciller will use an inker to tighten up the line art to convey greater depth on the page. Cafaro’s line work is so tight that the effect of producing the page directly from his pencils provides an energetic look to each page. Rawer but exquisitely detailed.
Cafaro’s work is only further highlighted by the color work of Ruben Curto and Sudio Parlapa. The colors give the artwork the contrasting shades and tones that make it pop off the page. By using soft hues it gives the page a lighter look that is right in line with the tone of the book.
The character designs are well done as well. Trish and her friends look like they are in their late teens. They get life from the mannerisms that Cafaro instills in their body language and gestures. They are not stiff but loose characters with slouches, ever-changing facial expressions, and shoulder shrugs that covey their attitudes and emotions as awkward and growing.
“Trish Out of Water” #1 picks up right at the worst possible time in the life of Trish. Hernandez and Cafaro lay out the whole of who she is and what the drama of her life is about. They make you care about her, before they rip it all apart. Hernandez is achieving something different with this book and it shows in the character work. The pacing is strong and the end is gut wrenching. Where this story goes from here is something you want to know.
The debut issue has ties to the original Aspen comic “Fathom.” They are references to the themes and people of the series only, not tied to the plots or ongoing story, it just shows they occur in the same reality.
To get your copy of “Trish Out of Water” #1 for only a dollar call your local comic book shop and ask them to “pull” the book for you. Click here to use the Comic Shop Locator to find your nearest store.