Rocketo is an outstanding comic series by Frank Espinosa. I was hooked since I first previewed it in his website, but I have waited to purchase it until the compilation of the first six stories has been issued in a single volume by Image comics this year.
In these days when most comic artists are lookalikes from each other, Frank Espinosa is a refreshing and captivating singularity. His Rocketo is a very special comic that owes its delightful look to a mix of influences, better summarized by the introduction written by Alex Ross:
“A wonderful hybrid style, combining the best figure modeling of animated feature films and the more liberated expressionist line of european comics. With resemblance to the classic comic strips of Chester Gould and Alex Raymond to the kinetic energy of Jack Kirby’s work, Frank’s style trascends the ages of the comic book.”The fluidity of the brushwork accounts for the hand of a great artist who is able to suggest the characters and the scenery rather than depict them in detail, with the minimal strokes and just the most tasteful and elegantly subdued touches of colour.
I haven’t investigated it yet, but I would say that while the ink seems to be the real stuff (you know, this black liquid called india ink on sheets of paper), the minimalistic colour looks like digital to me. In any case, it’s a great chromatic treatment. Most digitally coloured comics (which is to say, almost everything being published nowadays) are full of photoshop mannerisms and lack subtility, but very few of these flaws are apparent in Rocketo.
Lettering is unobstrusive and done in the style of classic superhero comics, with lots of boldened words in most ballons for emphasis. However, the sound effects are rather ordinary lettering: this is one of the few things that actually could be improved in this masterpiece.
Rocketo is a comic which everybody should find enjoyable. While the most serious aficionados and art-oriented readers will appreciate the exquisite artwork, younger and casual readers will enjoy the sheer pleasure of the adventures told in the series. Rocketo has to become a true classic, an addictive collection you will keep as a treasure.