I would love to tell you that Kingdom/Order is an amazing book. But I can’t. You see, Kingdom/Order isn’t finished yet. All that currently exists is an eerie 23-page story which takes the reader on a journey where it is never quite obvious what is and is not real. So, is Kingdom/Order an amazing book? I don’t know. But I can say that it has one powerful preview!
Reid Psaltis is a creator whose work has always left me a bit on edge. His illustrations of living creatures are so well rendered that they seem life-like. Yet his inks and lighting choices lend a slightly sinister tone to many of his projects. So, even though they may be light in subject, there is an uneasy feeling which accompanies them. His foldy comic, Fish Market, is a perfect example of this.
This is perfect for his latest book, Kingdom/Order. In the first chapter of this silent story, a man is completely isolated from the rest of the world. Despite being constantly surrounded by people he has no human interactions. Psaltis is hesitant to show whether this is by choice, or if there is something else at work. As the chapter progresses, the man attempts to reach out to animals that are commonly ignored or shunned by humans. First it is pigeons, then it is rats. Both attempts end with eerie panels which are left to the reader to determine if they are real or not.
Psaltis’ moody inks are on full display in Kingdom/Order. He has also added grey washes which enhances the moodiness of the book , giving each page added depth. Considering the multiple layers of imagery he is using in this chapter, having equally layered art sells the mood of the book.
The only complaint I had with Kingdom/Order is that it is incomplete. I have no idea where the book is going. I have no idea if the book is going to be a horror story, a fantasy piece, or a moody reflective piece about the place of an individual in society. It could even be some combination of all three. There is unlimited possibility in what has been presented so far.
So, while it may not be complete, there is more than enough in this partial preview of Kingdom/Order to have me chomping at the bit for more. You might be asking yourself where you could get a copy of this preview. Unfortunately it is not for sale in any store. It is not even for sale on Reid’s website! However, for those of you fortunate enough to be coming to this weekend’s Stumptown Comics Fest, Reid will be in attendance with preview copies of Kingdom/Order. He can be found right here (with a bunch of other awesome folks!):
Be sure to stop by and pick up your very own copy (as well as some of his foldy comics!).