blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Karmen (2021) #2

Karmen 2

More than half the issue is recently deceased Cata (by her own hand, so presumably stuck in purgatory) swimming around the city naked taking in the sights. She can swim-fly to the top of the cathedrals, she can peek on strangers in their homes, she can even end up tracking down her best friend. The best friend sets off a bunch of drama for her, which eventually leads to afterlife sponsor slash tour guide Karmen checking in on her for a heart-to-heart.

The dialogue back and forth recounts Cata’s problems with best friend Xisco and Karmen’s exhaustion at Cata not figuring out she’s dead for keeps. There’s a somewhat fun, somewhat not sequence where Karmen is on assignment leading a newly dead to the afterlife on an airplane, which gives creator Guillem March the opportunity for some more fantastical art. Outside Cata skinny dipping through the city—it appears to be Mallorca, a tourist island (I asked a friend who asked a friend, it’s unclear if the actual location is ever going to matter)—her “swim” emphases the architectural beauty of the city (and the female form, March does a lot with his lines), not anything supernatural. There’s a little bit of humor in the narrative, then some light visual humor as Cata defies gravitational norms to stand on the side of sculptures and such.

There’s a reasonably intense cliffhanger thanks to March still not having laid out the rules of the afterlife in Karmen, with Cata’s conversation with Karmen seeming simultaneously final, simultaneously full of future potential. There shouldn’t be any future potential.

It’s an engaging comic with great art. March showcases his drawing skills and his writing is solid enough to get through. Though we’re not even halfway through so we shall see… (Cata’s character motivation so far is a minefield of problematic).

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