Delia Awesome is a brand new indie comic with Michael Schneider providing both the art and story, while Jane Huh is onboard as the editor. While it begins with delightfully slice of life-esque situations, things eventually veer into wildly different territory.
The comic spends the bulk of its time following Delia in her day-to-day life, including interacting with her boyfriend and what she gets up to at work. I understand that on its own that doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but to the huge credit of Schneider, it is! It really struck me how with just a single issue I actually cared about Delia as a person. You’d have to be an emotionless machine to not feel a twinge of emotion as her relationship begins to crumble right before her. The dialogue has been crafted with such touching realism that she’s instantly filled with life.
It’s not just the dialogue, but subtle touches in the artwork build her personality too. Although the black and white art is fairly simple, through her pained expressions it delivers heaps of emotion. It brilliantly suits the down to earth nature that makes up the bulk of the book. Although colourless, the tones are used to direct the eye as Delia is lit up in clean white, while other characters fade into the background with a wash of grey. The limitations of black and white can hurt some comics, but here where it gently nudges our focus, it keeps the story moving.
Occasionally the art gets much more stylised and exaggerated, usually for comedic effect. But most of the time I felt myself wishing it had just stuck to the normal artwork. The regular art is such a nice fit that the more cartoon inspired sections just came off as a little too wild and unnecessary. That’s not to say they’re poorly rendered, as they aren’t, but I didn’t feel that they matched what had come before.
Although it might be an odd thing to point out, the composition of the book is quite notable. For instance the simulation of movement is handled well as Delia moves through three connected panels, seamlessly mimicking the passage of time. While on other pages, panels are arranged in just the right way for the story to flow naturally, capturing your attention for what feels like just the right amount of time. It’s little things like this that point out how Schneider knows what he’s doing, and they bump up the quality of the comic beyond what’s the norm for a self-published title.
We spend the entirety of the issue from Delia’s point of view and in doing so we really get inside her head. Just a few pages in I was already rooting for her and wondering where things were going to go. Admittedly the final destination is far from what I had in mind too, so the comic offers some fun surprises to boot.
It’s very easy for me to recommend giving Delia Awesome a try; it feels like the start of a very involving series. It bears repeating how Delia is made so very likeable almost instantly, she’s the reason I wanted to continue the issue and she’s also why I was left awaiting more. It’s refreshing to find a character that feels so very human.
If you want to know more, you can head on over to the official website here.