Published on March 11th, 2015 | by JCDoyle


Shutter #10 Review

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If someone can describe a comic like Shutter as ‘crazy’ you know it’s going to be a wild ride because it’s not exactly been the straightest comic on the shelves to start with.

This month sees Kate and Kalliyan enter the Dreamscape and our heroine is very, very unprepared for what’s about to happen to her. And to be fair to her, I think everyone reading is going to be underprepared for what they are about to read. There are references to the very first issue of the series as well as a number of nods to later characters and stories. Kate feels as though she is falling apart as her physical self has to adjust to the Dreamscape which allows her mental self to roam far and wide.

Shutter 10 insert 3

I’m going to come back to the opening of this issue in a minute so for now let’s move on with the story.

Kate is forced to face her fears and insecurities which is difficult for anyone at the best of times, unfortunately Kalliyan doesn’t hang around waiting for her sister to get a grip. She gives her a slap, tells her to get over it (while also putting her down for being woefully unprepared) and then leaves her to engage the locals in combat. It turns out that the fully armed goon squad that Kalliyan had ready to bring with her into the Dreamscape were a necessity of situation and not overkill on her part. The Dreamscape is hostile territory but that’s the least of it’s surprises.

Mega spoilers coming right up, go buy the comic before reading on..

Shutter 10 insert 2

It turns out that the man they travelled to the Dreamscape to find, Great great great granddaddy Rathborn, is not in the Dreamscape but IS the Dreamscape. And when he awakens he’s far from happy. Kate tries to reason with her giant, angry relative and when she realises that he has inexplicably heard all about her she says, “Good things, I hope.”

The answer forms this issues major cliffhanger.

The story spins around Kate in this issue and relies somewhat on the reader’s previous knowledge of the character. It also depends on the readers emotional attachment to Kate, which after 10 issues you should have by now or you’re probably never going to make that conection. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and Keatinge shows Kate at her lowest and most vulnerable moments but then also at the moment she’s strongest. The splash page where she stands with camera in hand, her memories providing a historical background, is a defining moment that illustrates every aspect of Kates complex character. It shouts out at the reader in positive tones and provides a mantra that anyone can follow.

Shutter 10 insert1

What more is there to say? Well, from an artistic viewpoint, Leila Del Duc and Owen Gieni have knocked it out of the park. The opening 7 pages are a masterclass in comic art production and design. When you read this comic you’ll get an education into the creators craft, even if you don’t pay much attention to it (although it’s difficult not to). We are given a splash page of a single character in the same position but at various stages during her life, showing off the design work that has gone into the characters clothes and physical appearance. There are examples of colour separation highlighting the CMYK colour model that makes up the colour printing process. The pages are littered with panel manipulations, reoccurring compositions and there is even a set of panels that portrays the process from pencil sketch, through inking to final coloured image.

Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the artwork in this issue is wonderful. The design of Rathborn for example conjures up exciting memories of the Gnome King from Return to Oz. It’s just that the opening 7 pages are a perfect example of insightful, contemporary post-modernist comic book Art.

When I reviewed the first couple of issues of Shutter in May last year I said that “plenty of people will find something to love about this” comic. Now I dare to go further and say if you’re a fan of comics you should read this issue if no others. In the same way Citizen Kane is a must see for all fans of technical cinema production, Shutter is a prime example of how to produce modern fantasy/adventure comics.


Title: Shutter

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Joe Keatinge

Artist: Leila Del Duca

Colours: Owen Gieni

Letterer: John Workman



Lover of comics and Art and Sci-Fi in multiple media. Currently teaching my kids the ways of the Geek (while protecting my first editions)

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