Diesel #1 Review

You may know Tyson Hesse as the creator behind the amazing webcomic Boxer Hockey. If you don’t, well, shame on you. Take a few moments to go check out a hilarious and beautiful free comic. While Boxer Hockey may be Mr. Hesse’s claim to fame, he has been hard at work on another project.

Diesel is the story of a young woman in a fantastic land of large flying ships, robots and anthropomorphic animals. Diandra Diesel, or just Diesel, is the daughter of a war hero and great engineer. After her father commits some unexplained treacherous act when she’s a child, he disappears and leaves his flying garage airship to his second in command. Now years later, Diesel’s rival has inherited the role of ship Captain, the crew is down from dozens to a handful and she is struggling to find her place in the world her father created.

I have always been a fan of Hesse’s artwork, and Diesel fails to disappoint. His style is very unique, coming across as almost a mash-up of Don Bluth and Japanese Manga. It’s clear that he takes a lot of inspiration from classic manga artist, especially from the ’70s and ’80s. Stylized and always clean, Hesse has a way of making every panel look like it’s animated. As if at any moment the characters are going to break loose and start moving right before your eyes.

The character design is great. Each character looks cool, but doesn’t have a lot of silly things going on to distract you from the amazing work that Hesse is doing in each panel. His ability to draw the human body and super expressive faces is borderline uncanny. It’s nearly impossible to not feel some sort of connection with each character that pops up. The art alone is enough to make the book endearing, even if the story was terrible.

Luckily, the story isn’t terrible and the only complaint I can make is that it’s too short. While the book is more or less standard comic issue length, I just found myself wanting more. It seems that just as things are getting really good, we reach the end of the issue and there are a lot of unanswered questions. I just hope that Hesse is able to continue this story either in print or online, because I would be greatly disappointed if I am never given the chance to see where this is all heading.

It’s clear that Hesse has taken the time to plot out a rich world and created a deep roster of characters to fill it. Like most first chapters of the story, there are a lot of introductions and establishing of the world that Diesel takes place in but the pace never bogs down. We find out about a war, a kingdom and other fun things that leaves this story open for some truly epic moments. It really seems like the sky is the limit as far as what this story holds.

The book itself is 60 pages. While the first issue itself is only 30, Hesse has packed the remaining 30 pages with loads of behind the scenes content. It’s practically a DVD level of additional content. In the back half of the book you will find pages of sketches, character designs and pinups. Even more interesting, each page also contains notes that give insight into the creator of the comic. Be it names, clothing or even breast size, Hesse gives you written commentary on his process. It’s honestly really fun, and is something I would love to see more of in comics, especially when the creator is both the writer and artist.

Overall, the art is beautiful, the story is whimsical and there is a lot of content beyond the comic itself. I would recommend this comic to nearly anyone and suggest that everyone support this up and coming artist. It’s rare that an independent release has this caliber of polish, but Diesel by Tyson Hesse has it in spades.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

For more information on Diesel, including how to buy it, visit the comic’s official website.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carl Watkins, Guerrilla Geek. Guerrilla Geek said: Posted: Diesel #1 Review http://www.guerrillageek.com/2011/01/diesel-1-review/ […]

  2. […] Diesel, Independent Comics, Indie Comics, Kickstarter, Tyson HesseA back in January we reviewed Tyson Hesse’s comic Diesel, but unfortunately it has been in and out of print since then. The good news is that you can now […]

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