Review: Snowpiercer Vol. – The Escape
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Jacques Lob
Artist: Jean-Marc Rochette
Translator: Virginie Selavy
Letters: Gabriela Houston
Review: Tony Farina
In a harsh, uncompromisingly cold future where Earth has succumbed to treacherously low temperatures, the last remaining members of humanity travel on a train while the outside world remains encased in ice.
The surviving community are not without a social hierarchy; those that travel at the front of the train live in relative luxury whilst those unfortunate enough to be at the rear remain clustered like cattle in claustrophobic darkness. Yet, things are about to change aboard the train as passengers become disgruntled…
Snowpiercer Vol. – The Escape is like nothing anyone had ever seen before. Of course, now there is a movie and a show and so, people have seen this. Thinking about it as a stand alone, totally original entity, it is clever beyond belief. Writer, Jacques Lob, took the dystopian concept and flipped it on it’s head. He makes us consider if we really want to survive the end of the world as we know it or not.
The real star of this book and the whole series that comes after it is Jean-Marc Rochette. His art style is perfect for this cold, scary hellscape. The choice to make this in black and white is so smart. By not having any colors, the reader spared some of the graphic images that a fully realized train crammed with the mass of humanity would bring but also allows readers to fill in the gaps where s/he wishes to do so.
This book has some things that must be lost in translation. I don’t mean to knock the actual translator for this. The language comes through fine. The storytelling, which should be pretty straightforward as the characters are just moving forward on a train, is not always clear. There are jumps in time and leaps in logic. Yes, I know, there is a train circling the world during an ice age. I can deal with those leaps of logic, but the story itself, just needs to be slightly more linear.
Snowpiercer Vol. – The Escape is not mandatory reading to enjoy the film and TV series, but going back to it has been good. I can’t recommend this for everyone, but I understand why someone read this and thought, I want to see this brought to life, but with some of the rough edges rubbed off. This is one to read in one sitting if possible, but no matter what, totally worth the time.