Abandon (#1) – Lee Kalba

3 out of 5

An intriguing enough setup, and good visual concepts, give way to an admittedly promising concept for future issues… and then you get to the lesbian vampires.

Lee Kalba’s Abandon kicks off with a generic looking kingdom, zooms in to a monster in that kingdom’s prison, and then gives us a generic exchange about how this monster is “different” because it thinks.  Kalba’s art is stiff but has a good sense of framing and depth, and the dialogue is concise; it’s an indie book you’re okay flipping waiting out to see where it goes.  And a few pages in, when the queen of our kingdom makes a snap decision to use this thinking monster for her own purposes, and said monster stands and speaks a confirmation, Abandon gets a notch up: Kalba gets down to business, and employs some ungeneric angles and shadows to give the moment some punch.

Next we see our monster unleashed in some world overrun by other creepos monsters, spider legged ladies, giant nuns, animalistic giants, and we get to some well choreographed and fun silent slaughter – the monster’s mission as tasked by the queen.  A moment of reflection for our lead is unusual in this type of book, again to Kalba’s credit, and that pause is used to insert another worthwhile addition – have the monster play double agent, helping the creatures at the same time.

And then the lesbian vampires.

Kalba’s art maintains its stiffness and some amateur artifacts throughout, but it’s definitely a level above what you get from a lot of self-released books, in large part thanks to the creator’s cinematic understanding of the page.  The story is pretty open-ended at this point but definitely promising, but the reveling in ladies smooching and their big boobs in the comic’s last few pages really dragged it back down to a particular type of endeavor, which was supported by some boob-focused pinups in the back.  Not that that stuff can’t have its place in a book, but I suppose I didn’t feel that that was the book I was reading, based on the lead-in pages, and so I was admittedly disappointed.

But maybe with a warning to expect lesbian vampires (spoiler?), you’ll be okay.