Released: November 25th 2014
Issues: Shutter 1-6
I had this recommended to me by a friend, and on the whole I’m pretty happy with the suggestion. I never would have picked it up on my own (simply because I had never heard of it before), but trying something new is always nice. Ironically, the description of the series compares it to Y: The Last Man, an older series I’ve been really meaning to get to lately (as per usual, it’s on the list), so that helped make the sale as well. I really loved the harsher quality to the artwork and storytelling – it is just so different from everything else I’ve been reading lately. It was a breath of fresh air. The color palette, while darker, is also very rich and full of details, which works perfectly with the story being told.
Shutter is a pretty perfect example of a chaotic storytelling style. I found myself unsure of what was happening at times, though thankfully never to the point where I found myself overwhelmed. I believe this was done intentionally to obfuscate the truth of Kate’s past. There are many reasons I believe that, including that some information was presented as a fact in the beginning and then later put into question.
There’s a lot of flashback in this series, as Kate Kristopher, “the most famous explorer” has retired from exploring. That’s not to say that trouble doesn’t still find her (obviously) but it does mean there’s quite a bit of backstory to be told, and only so many ways in which to tell it.
I think some of my favorite parts are the smaller elements, like her classic clockwork cat man-servant that follows her around, or the skeleton butler she had growing up (I actually really enjoyed his backstory). One favorite of mine is the unspoken question of her roommate’s identity and history. Little things like that build up to leave you with questions and ideas. It fills outthis odd little world being built for us.
I’ll admit that sometimes the fighting gets a little graphic for my taste – but I think this might be my bias showing. There are many anthropomorphized animals running around, and seeing them get hurt/killed, especially in graphic manners is a bit upsetting for me (in case this was self explanatory: because I love animals).
All in all the world of Shutter is pretty interesting and well designed. I’m very curious to see where volume two will take us, and intend to continue reading the series.