(DM) – October 3, 2016 Echoes is a quick read at 97 pages. On a tablet your swipes will come quickly. While time travel is nothing new in storytelling, keeping time-travel relatable is overlooked by most. Dark Horse comics' president and publisher Mike Richardson writes a tight time-travel story without insulting the reader, proving a good short story doesn't need its plot burdened with fantastic explanations.
While any writer may envy Richardson's position at Dark Horse to simply publish his musings at will, none will deny his smooth story-telling flows like a bird in the jet stream. You hardly notice the pages going by without any effort.
Echoes is not a mind-bending original. Yet it is a simple enough story that you wish you had written it yourself. It is however easy to see that while Dark Horse is located in the great northwest, the settings are leveraged from the author's own knowledge of the landscape.
Echoes places you top down, viewing Fred Martin at the age of six witnessing his mother's death - then leaps forward letting you in on the life scarred and ruined by losing the one person he loved the most.
It can be hard to take a story to graphic novel form where it may have been just as at home in print. Artists Gabriel Guzman and Java Tartaglia provide detailed panels giving Richardson’s words more meaning. There is a lot implied through the protagonist Fred Martin's facial expressions as well as Fred's supporting cast. For those of us that have never visited Seattle’s Puget Sound, it feels as if the city and country meet without conquering one another.
If there are any criticisms of things that could improve Echoes story it's in the depiction of the different time periods, and yet even that would be an unfair criticism. The illustrations didn't need a different color tone to represent the past. The subtle change in Fred's hair style within context of the story did the trick. Smart devices like this are what earns Dark Horse the respect they deserve in the graphic novel industry. Their team of editors are old school perfectionist. Similar to what journalism once was without bias, Dark Horse is the most professional in delivering stories without non-sense.
Echoes release date is November 23, 2016 as TPB and digital release. Pick up a hard copy at your local comic book shop (order) or purchase it through your favorite digital supplier such as Amazon/Comixolgy.
Echoes - Original Graphic Novel by
Writer: Mike Richardson
Pencils: Gabriel Guzman
Colors: Java Tartaglia
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics