review by Bobby Blakey
Comic artist and writer Michel Fiffe has been around for years, but it wasn’t until 2018 when he took on Bloodstrike: Brutalists did I discover his work. I was on the fence initially as I loved the originality of it, but wasn’t sure I liked it for Bloodstrike. From that series I went back and dived into his creator own series Copra, which I really dig, but it’s his latest release Panorama that really stands out for me.
Panorama follows the adventures of teenage couple Kim & Augustus as they navigate their way through a shared, unwanted ability they can't control. Panorama blends chiaroscuro with a kinetic line that perfectly captures runaways trying to find love, define identity, and survive a metamorphosis unlike anything ever seen before.
It took me a bit to really appreciate Fiffe’s art style, especially in the superhero genre, but as I made my way through Copra it cemented its own voice exactly as it should. Since I have been eager to see what else was coming and enjoying his art posts on Twitter, but this new trade brings together a different kind of story that might be my favorite work so far. His art is horrifically beautiful here and matches this story concept to perfection. I knew nothing going into this book and came out blown away by how bizarre, disturbed and beautiful it all was.
Fiffe has such a unique style that continues to stand out from anything else out there. His work reminds of Sam Keith, Keith Geffen and Simon Bisely in its
unique voice. Make no mistake of course he has influences but this look is all his own and I am cemented as a fan for life. The use of the black and white tones along with crazed visuals and realism fuse together to bring a story that grabs you from the first page. I picked this book up to read just the first chapter and ended up reading the entire thing straight through. It’s a great read that intrigues as it continues to take strange turns to keep you invested into what chaotic elements may slap you in the face at any turn.
I am purposely not going into a lot of the story itself as it should be experienced as fresh as possible, but be warned this very mature reader and might not work for some. As I read through it I instantly imagined this being an insanely awesome feature film that would stand out as a break through idea if it was handled right. While I may not ever see that happen, I can always revisit this visually and mentally stunning work from one of the most unique creators out there.
Not only can you grab Panorama available now from Dark Horse, you can dive into Fiffe’s popular Copra series with an all-new series montly from Image as well as the collected editions of the previous entries into his famed creator owned series.
For more information on Fiffe and his art head over to this site at http://michelfiffe.com/