Review by Ben Kooyman
Footsteps, a new work from recent Ledger Award nominee Louie Joyce, is a short vignette that unfolds in an alien landscape, following a wayfarer and her encounters – some benevolent, others malevolent – with the local wildlife…
Footsteps epitomises comics as a visual medium. In Alan Moore on His Work and Career (2008, pp. 72–76), the revered author advocates for comics creators to embrace and harness the unique qualities of comics as a medium rather than attempting to imitate other mediums such as film (partly because, in case you haven’t noticed, Alan Moore HATES comics-related film). Footsteps embraces and harnesses these very qualities. The work is free of narration and dialogue, relying solely on visuals to convey the story, and this silence invests what is inherently pulpy fare – a traveller in an alien setting encountering native critters – with a rarefied and dignified air. The central motif of Footsteps is used to great effect, helping to communicate space and distance across this vast otherworldly terrain. So too is Joyce’s colour palette, which favours paler hues to give the environment an aged quality but still utilises and juxtaposes a variety of colours to make each panel pop visually.
Footsteps is a short and sweet treat available at a bargain price (i.e. free), and is a nice reminder that as writers and illustrators sometimes we can let our images do all the talking.
Footsteps available for free on Joyce’s website: www.louiejoyce.com.