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Spill Zone vol 2 h/c

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Spill Zone vol 2 h/c back

Scott Westerfeld & Alex Puvilland with Hilary Sycamore


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Hats off to Hilary Sycamore, because the colours are phenomenal.

Even before you break into the Spill Zone, the photographs in the gallery glow against its grey walls.

It's those colours on Puvilland's extraordinary geometrical extravagance that give the Spill Zone its sense of the alien and otherness, so when they're brought outside, the results are thrilling.

But even on the very first page the skyscraper's been drawn so that its windows play tricks on your eyes, almost moving alive.

And we've only just begun...

"Why do I feel so strange? What's happening to me?"
"Short version? You bit off more than you can chew."

How true.

In SPILL ZONE VOL 1 h/c (much longer review with heaps of outstanding interior art) we learned that Addison once worked in secret, photographing the spectacular living art within the deadly, quarantined Spill Zone which erupted one night, three years ago, to swallow the small city of Poughkeepsie.

It killed every living soul within reach of its transdimensional touch, transforming them into dangling corpses called meat puppets, including Addison's parents who worked in its hospital which now seems the epicentre of its spectral activities. Addison only survived because she had abandoned her younger sister Lexa, whom she was supposed to be babysitting, to go on a binge-drink outside the city, so she feels pretty bad about that. Lexa only survived because Vespertina, her doll who's possessed, led her unharmed from the carnage. But Lexa feels pretty bad too, because she harbours a terrible secret, which is why she went schtum for three years.

But now Addison's ventured too far into the Spill Zone, risking everything for an art collector (and one million dollars paid for by the North Korean government) to extricate an item from the hospital's radiology department. What if she bumped into her meat-puppet parents, for example?

She hasn't, yet. But she did come away touched by what she found within the hospital's re-jumbled rooms, and now every faction in action is going to converge on Addison: the US army, Don Jae - the sole survivor of North Korea's own Spill Zone - the American Secret Service, the North Korean Secret Service and the strange new inhabitants of the Spill Zone itself.

For although North Korea's Spill Zone went inert almost immediately - and you will learn why - Poughkeepsie's still simmering, beginning to bubble and boil.

It's about to spill over and out.

SPILL ZONE VOL 1 h/c was a visual feast of multicoloured questions and so many secrets which were only beginning to be answered, whereas this second half swiftly delivers its key revelations, punches its way through some astonishingly harsh, bonfire reactions (Addison!!!!), then mercilessly administers the repercussions before unleashing its lupine fury on a woodland in which tree trunks are shattered into translucent, crystalline shards.

I loved how Addison rips off her original, corrupt art dealer in precisely the same way in which he used to screw with her (and I love that it's not sign-posted; thanks for trusting your readership), and there's a substantial epilogue set another three years later which reunites some of the survivors so satisfyingly, and in quite unexpected ways.

More extensive epilogues, please, certainly for longer works.

SPILL ZONE VOL 1 is also now out as a s/c but in all honesty that classless cover sucks, betraying the beauty within for the sake of looking like an Image tradepaperback, and if you can't wait another six months to read volume 2 then I recommend you buying both matching hardcovers for they make a sweet, stylish and metallically enhanced set which reflects the majesty of what you'll find inside.
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