Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill // ARC Review



Lana has recently lost her mother out at sea which prompts her grieving father to turn his back on the very thing his wife loved. Growing up without a parent presents its own challenges and Lana has to rely on herself now. After a storm hits their hometown, the both of them take a trip back to help rebuild.

While this story is nice and has a competent message, I’m still missing something. Whether it’s the absence of childhood wander or unfathomable loss, I can’t decide. The sequence of events bare little consequence as we accept how the story unfolds. It’s not satisfying to read about a problem that hardly presents a challenge only to have it resolved so easily.

T H E   A R T

The style is flat but that’s not necessarily bad since it’s a comic. No need to haul in the hyper-realism. There aren’t many textures like wood grains and the most adventurous it gets is the spray paint brush tool. However, the backgrounds in particular is desperately begging for contrast like darker tones within the same hue to heighten the character’s surroundings. For example, the pine green gives depth and makes the composition come alive as oppose to the single blue to fill in the sky. Despite the mountains being off in the distance, they are colored in the same tone as the foreground which really flattens the scene.

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 11.12.34 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 11.09.11 AM.png

So, I also hate to admit it but this comic is kind of untidy and I wish the artist worked on a grid to tighten up the panels. I could tell that they were organically drawn but that leads to some scenes being cropped awkwardly. Like a sliver of the car that’s almost but not quite cut off bothers me. Or two panels sitting on top of each other looking too similar in composition that it took me a bit to notice they are supposed to signify time lapsing instead of a white bar intersecting a single panel.

Also, I don’t mind the font but black is too harsh. Perhaps, a dark blue would make it less jarring so it doesn’t break my emersion. Honestly, it’s the one thing that stands out too much. I enjoy when the artist handwrites the sound effects and wonder if that aesthetic can be carried throughout the comic.

It doesn’t help that the story lacks tension. The climax hardly was one because Lana miraculously starts running and calls upon the powers that be to fix this mess. Maybe larger panels or different angles could add suspense and incorporate interest. The pacing started to become monotonous and then the final panels were essentially an info dump explaining to us the lesson of the day.

I was underwhelmed. I fundamentally understood that Lana is sad but there wasn’t much time dedicated in favor of the B-plot consuming everything. Like shout out to my lesbian underwater sea girlfriends. I just don’t think their relationship was well developed because they literally never leave the same room design despite it being a coral reef Atlantis! Aquicorn Cove is a comic written for kids when I think it would have benefitted as a story written for adults which just happens that kids can also relate to.

Thanks to the publishers for this ARC in exchange for a fair review!

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 11.23.06 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s