And Then I Read: SCARLET TRACES – The Great Game

Scarlet Traces cover
©Ian Edginton & Matt Brooker

I somehow missed the first book in this series, simply called SCARLET TRACES, which was in itself a sequel to an adaptation by the same team of H.G. Well’s “War of the Worlds,” I believe. I now plan to look for and purchase both of these, after being blown away by this volume.

I’ve worked with Matt Brooker, who uses the name D’Israeli here and elsewhere, in his capacity as an inker, but hadn’t seen full art by him like that in this book. I’m extremely impressed! The art is highly detailed, full of beautifully drawn and well-thought out machines and architecture. (In the afterword, Matt talks about how he used computer modelling to help with this). The characters are well-drawn, if at times a little too similar in facial features. The coloring, also by Matt, is exquisite, really lush and beautifully modeled. Here’s a sample:

Scarlet Traces page 10

It reminds me of the famous British comic strip “Dan Dare” by Frank Hampson, it’s that well done. The story is engaging and exciting, following characters that were established in the previous book, but I had no trouble with that, everything was clear. My only reaction was to want to read more about them, as I said. In a nutshell, the Martian invasion from the Wells novel has turned the world upside down and put it on a much different path from ours, in this book showing Earth attacking Mars. There are lots of twists and turns to it, it’s more complicated than that, but in a good way.

If you like science fiction graphic novels with terrific art and engaging writing, you’ll enjoy this book. Highly recommended!

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