Countdown to Countdown is written, drawn, inked, colored, and lettered by Velinxi. In it, Iris Black is a young man who has only ever known the inside of a gilded cage. Iris longs for more than what he has been given. He wants, what we all want. Iris wants the freedom to experience his life and talents to the fullest.
The initial release of Countdown to Countdown introduces us to the world of demiflora, people with spectacular gifts. The demiflora however, have been raised to view these gifts as curses. Things to be shunned and hidden. We are introduced to a group of people trying to simply “be normal”. Not all are content with the status quo. Iris Black certainly isn’t.
In Countdown to Countdown we first meet Iris in a very poignant way. He is instantly both relatable and sympathetic. He is the outsider. The one everyone has felt like they were at some point or another. Even though all he wants is to be allowed to use his gifts and live his life. Iris just doesn’t understand why that should bother anyone. He speaks to a feeling that I know many in our current social reality feel today.
The art in Countdown to Countdown manages to balance feelings of both lightheartedness and pain. Velinxi deftly uses classic art techniques, such as her use of color, framing of characters and using light to emphasize emotion, to bring the reader along for a ride that covers a tremendous amount of emotion for only ten pages. Whether it’s spot on choices for color and light, or how heavily she emphasizes the emotion on her characters, everything comes together perfectly. It helps the reader fully invest themselves in the story, despite the short number of pages.
The art also feels both familiar and decidedly unique at the same time. While Velinxi’s art seems heavily influenced by manga, she gives it a feel all her own I can only describe as a sort of “softness.” While I have studied much of her public work I am still at a loss to fully grasp what is different. I just know it is unique and never fails to command my appreciation.
And while Countdown to Countdown spends its time focused almost exclusively on Iris, we do get a glimpse of other characters that share his world. One particular young man’s behavior, and implied history with Iris, has my Shonen rivals senses screaming. The antagonism is well written and wonderfully expressed visually. It has that sharp hurtfulness that only teenagers can wield.
The comic’s only fault for some will be in its approach to world-building. There is no opening page of text explaining the world. The reader is asked to pull it from the words and actions of those on the page. While I prefer the creator not spend pages devoted to walls of text, I know some people find this approach to world-building lacking.
I felt the ten pages that comprise this initial release flew by and I cannot wait for more. Luckily, Velinxi has already announced she plans to release two to three pages a week from here so we won’t have to wait long for more.
If you are interested in checking out Countdown to Countdown you can read it out for free here.
Countdown to Countdown
I felt the ten pages that comprise this initial release flew by and I cannot wait for more.