Friday, June 19, 2015

Comic Review: 7" Kara Vol. 1 by Becca Hillburn


Back with blurb.


I personally found 7" Kara adorable, fun, and wonderfully illustrated. It's for all ages and is family friendly so anyone can pick it up and read it. Perfect for a gift for an adult or child. Although, I bought this for myself because I enjoy comics and wanted to support an indie artist, I think a child will enjoy it more. 

Overall, I think it's a cute little story about Lilliputians, tiny people, which isn't a new concept but it's still a fun little story and something I think everyone can relate to when they can't find a missing sock or something disappears without a good reason. 

Ok, so this might just be me but I keep wanting to think Kara is 7 years old, not just 7 inches. It might be the title that throws me off but I think I keep getting the numbers confused because she's actually 11 years old. It's something my brain isn't completely wrapping around for some reason. Not sure if anyone else is having that issue.

Now this book is full color and self published by the creator at 112 pages with 71 pages of it being the comic. The additional pages are bonus or extra content. I love seeing the process of behind how the creators make the story so concept extras are some of my favorite things to see in a book. Bonus stuff are always great additions as well if you're curious as to what else the creators make.

The story pages don't appear to be much at first glance but what people forget to notice is the amount of work that goes into each page. I found it unusual, but amazing, for a comic to be made traditionally with watercolors. Anyone who has used watercolors can see the dedication the artist put in each page because it can be a finicky medium and the results may not always end well. 

Most comics or illustrations done these days are done completely digitally or in part digitally. There's nothing wrong with creating a comic digitally, it's just that little uncertainty with a lack of 'undo' button that makes watercolor works more fascinating. Still, I believe the pages may have been edited on the computer and the word bubbles were added digitally but that is only to allow better readability. I don't think it is usual to see digital post production work but rarely do you ever see a comic done with watercolors.

The reason I think that a child will enjoy this story more is because as an adult I didn't feel intellectually stimulated. The story is simple and the characters are lovable but the length of the story felt too short. The pacing is quick even though there are three chapters in this book. I didn't feel like there was a large enough arc for there to have much action to keep me reading for more. The book ended just when things got more interesting and we didn't quite get a cliffhanger or an idea of what would happen in the next book.

At the moment, I'm not sure if there'd be enough interest for me to keep me reading on. I feel like I can already predict what will happen in the story and that is a bit of a turn off to keep me reading the next book of the series.

If I did keep reading, I'd love to see a refreshing take from the world of Lilliputians. I love the idea of potential friendships building up and the political turmoil that could happen with Humans and Lilliputians. Still, I'm not too fond of politics but would love to see more adventures or perhaps a history of the Lilliputians and where they came from. I want something I haven't seen before in the world of Lilliputians so I really hope that Ms. Hillburn delivers.

I know Becca is working on a sequel but I'm not certain what the story is about but the pages look wonderful and I'm looking forward to seeing more work from her.

It might not be perfect for adults or teenagers but this comic book would be a great picture book for parents with kids who love things that are little and adorable.

3.5 out of 5 rating for me!

(I purchased this copy with my own money. I was not compensated in any other way. 
As a disclosure, I've been following Becca for awhile during her progress as an artist. I like and respect Becca as a person and what she does for the growing comic community and consider her a friend but this in no way affects my opinion of this book.)


BeccaHillburn said...

Hey Lis! Don't worry, the story is going to take a huge U turn in the next two volumes, it was never my intention to rewrite the Borrowers. I want to explore other aspects of the dynamic between the small (the weak, the helpless, the mentally ill) and the strong (the rich, the privileged, the healthy) and I knew a size dynamic would be a great way to do that without (hopefully!) becoming too heavy handed. I joke publicly that 7" Kara is an excuse to draw tiny people riding cats (and there's gonna be that too), but it's also an apology to all the small animals I caught and inadvertently hurt as a well intentioned but clueless child. Thank you so much for the review, I hope the pages I post in the future will sway you into giving Volume 2 a look-see.

Aisazia said...

Hey Becca! Thanks for informing me! Yeah when I wrote that I didn't realize how many more books would be in the series or what would happen afterwards. I'm still interested in seeing what you'll do in the next books, especially with that description. :) Yeah, I'll have to keep an eye out for the new pages. :D Good luck!

BeccaHillburn said...

Oh no, thank you! I've gotten so close to the project that I forget everyone else doesn't really have a clue where I'm going with it, and the fact that the first book bears a resemblance to The Borrowers is something that does need to be addressed for readers, especially for those unfamiliar with my work (like at cons). The difficulty for me is knowing how much to give away without totally spoiling the story, and I've erred too much on the side of caution. I have a librarian-centered show coming up, and your points were VERY valid and timely. I definitely appreciate your input!