COMIC REVIEW: Clockwork Watch: The Arrival

 Geek Syndicate got an exclusive copy of Clockwork Watch: The Arrival to review and see what is in store for the people attending the Bristol Comic Expo in May where it will be officially launched.

Original story by YOMI AYENI

Adapted by COREY BROTHERSON

Artwork, lettering and cover by JENNIE GYLLBLAD

Title design by FABIO DUARTE MARTINS

The Arrival is the first of three graphic novels, setting the scene for a three-year long transmedia experience.

London 1899. Steam billows out from every corner of the city while huge Zeppelin airships float in the sky overhead. Enter the world of Clockwork Watch, a place where Victorian values are coupled with anachronistic technology, not least of which are the clockwork servants – the mechanical slaves that keep this society ticking along – this is the world of Steampunk.

Technological and social change is in the air – the science behind the clockworks is advancing and human-clockwork hybridisation is the talk of the town; the clockworks are becoming more human, but not all humans are as human as they think they are.

Set against this world, the Department for the Advancement of Sciences works on the newest ‘clock’ upgrades, whilst Her Majesty’s Clockwork Watch, a Gestapo-like organisation, monitors the clockwork servant population with a vigilance bordering on hostility.

 

The story is told through the eyes of Janav, a young boy who accompanies his parents on a trip from India to London. This is a nice plot device to use for the narrative as it asks questions and points out things that a normal comic might miss out. Janav himself is likable, inquisitive, funny, not afraid to speak his mind and when that fails not afraid to fight if needs be.

The relationship between Janav and his father Chan is strained with the mother playing the dutiful wife and caring mother. Chan is an inventor consumed by his work and his desire to ‘change the world’. He is a man who is not afraid to use his family or more importantly his son to achieve his goals. By contrast  Janav’s mother appears to play the dutiful wife but if you look closer you can see that she is far from happy with some of the choices her husband has been making. She also seems set on ensuring that her son follows his own path, one not dictated by her husband. Although this isn’t pushed on the reader it  shown in the odd turn of phrase, facial expression and heavily hinted at in one scene where Janav receives a gift.

At it’s heart this Clockwork Watch: The Arrival is about family and all that entails but is also the start of an intriguing adventure. It is clear by the end of the story that things in this world are about to change and little Janav and his family are the catalyst for that change.

Jennie Gyllblad’s art is classical in nature, elegant in execution and she shows a fabulous eye for colours and how to use them to add depth and emotion to every panel she draws. The scenes are not overly crowded and this made it an easy and visually pleasing read. The other nice touch was the use of real locations including Crystal Palace and some small history lessons thrown in as well.

I am new to the whole steampunk culture but really liked this story and I would recommend it to anyone looking to test the waters with the whole genre.

The other thing I liked about this book was that my 10-year-old son read it with me and really enjoyed it so the story translates well to both adults and younger audiences which is important to me as I start to see my boys look towards the comics industry for stuff to get their teeth into.

Clockwork Watch: The Arrival is an engaging and well crafted graphic novel that left me with numerous theories about what to expect from the remaining two volumes.

To can pre-order your copy from the creators’ blog here

GS Rating 4/5

Source: Clockwork Watch
GS Reporter: Montoya

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