Oh man! Opening up to that first page and seeing that Luna art felt like coming home. Home! I had wonderful flashbacks to my time with The Sword. Gosh, did I enjoy that comic. I’d almost forgotten how much until I opened Whispers.
So here we are! Issue one in what I hope will be a long series. So far, it's mostly set up: introducing the who, the what, the where, the when and the why for the series. There are definitely some similarities to The Sword in story tactics (is that the right way to say it? You’ll see what I mean.)
You see, back in The Sword, our main character was a wheelchair bound girl who found a sword that gave her magical powers such as giving her the ability to self-heal, or massive amounts of strength. In Whispers, we have a young man who seems to be "crippled" by his OCD, and we see him developing a magical power that's sort of like astral projection: the ability to hear loved one’s thoughts as well as possibly influence their behavior.
And, yes, it looks to be a hero’s journey of sorts. In the Sword, Dara used her powers to go and avenge her family’s death which she witnessed just before finding The Sword - the very thing the killers were after. This powerful weapon had a story that spanned history, a whole mythology that served as the original source of conflict for the whole story.
So far, in Whispers, the set-up is not as dramatic. So far! I’m saying that because, well, I read the first third of The Sword in the trade format. My recollection of it as one overall story comes from that fact, that I read most of it in very quick succession. Reading Whispers, I realized that it might have taken a couple of issues to really set-up the story, something I wouldn't have noticed. Reading it like this, in a smaller chunk, I wonder if I might be giving the information (the piece of story I just read) more emphasis than it really needs. If, for example, I was reading a collection of multiple issues of Whispers, would I be stopping to wonder why Sam (the main character) and Lily recently broke up? Or would I just acknowledge that bit of information (okay, they broke up) and keep moving forward? Would I get as irritated with Rico (a character that picks on Sam for his behavior), or would I just keep reading, having faith that Rico's behavior is necessary to the story and not something I should get that worked up about?
I don't know. It's worth thinking about, but it would be a tough thing to test.
And that brings us to....Astral Projection. Yeah. That’s kinda what this is about. That makes me a little bit worried. I’m sorry, but it does. See, with The Sword, even though it wasn’t “realistic” or “plausible” it was easy to understand. The Sword made her strong. Without it she was weak and vulnerable. Being able to visit people while you are sleeping/dreaming in a way that they can’t see you - I don’t fully yet understand how to grasp hold of it. Sam will be armed with information and therefore truth? He can influence events, perhaps? I’m not entirely sure. It's not like vampires. I wasn't sitting here reading Whispers and remembering all those awesome astral projection movies I watched when I was a kid. I don't have a bunch of daydreams about invisibly floating around in people's bedrooms. (I have a few, of course.)
But I remember how much I loved the Sword, and looking at these very first pages of Whispers...I want this to be that good. I would love to fall in love with something like that again.
-Nina Stone, 2012