Posted By Leo Reyna on February 9, 2015
Image source: Comixology
To say Diskordia: Feels Like Falling isn’t your every day comic book would only scratch the surface. Written and illustrated by Andrew Blackman, this indie comic dives into the strange, vulgar and sexual part of human nature. This series is part of the Comixology Submit program, with 11 issues currently available. This review is based on the upcoming trade paperback that collects the first nine issues for $12.99.
Diskordia isn’t the easiest story to describe, but here goes nothing: Jackal Black is just another young smart ass kid. Or, at least he was another young smart ass kid, until he experienced a psychedelic-like experience in a high school restroom, resulting in him being framed for murder. With the cops getting ready to break the restroom’s door down and fire, Jackal’s only exit is taking a trip through a toilet filled with talking fish heads. After an unpleasant swim, Jackal emerges in a weird desert terrain that mixes reality with horrific fantasy from people’s dreams. Jackal isn’t alone in his madness, as he’s accompanied by a nude woman who wears a squid on her head and plays bodyguard.
While the first nine issues focuses of Jackal’s quest to understand what’s happening to him, the narrative is split between a reporter and a female entrepreneur who’s is strangely connected to the unspeakable events unfolding. The storytelling in this series is interesting to say the least. The first issue is framed as a story Jackal tells Squid Girl in hopes of humoring her. Issue two has an intriguing folk tale from Squid Girl, with the moral playing a vital role later on. The peculiar circumstances stuffed in this book are presented vaguely and usually accompanied by sexually explicit images. Speaking of images, Diskordia is visually unique with the grim caricatures and backdrops.
There are certain aspects to Diskordia that are understandably appealing. The openly sexual presentation and crude personality are likely to resonate with older teens going through their rebellions stage in life. However, Diskordia isn’t perfect. Far from it. The biggest disadvantage this series has is the inconsistent artwork. Human figures are often depicted anatomically poor, with certain features inconsistently proposition.
Speaking more about the visuals, there are times where what you’re seeing will clash with the book’s dark atmosphere. The occasional chibi-style talking heads, for example, contradict the book’s eerie personality. There are also times where storytelling will hinder the art, such as the beginning of issue two that’s presented like a novel with a few panels, creating a disjointed layout.
Moving from art to writing, the series often comes across as trying to shock the readers more with its grotesque visuals, than tell a coherent story. Jackal, the main protagonist, is mostly a jerk who makes you wonder why you’re following him in the first place. It’s only in a much later issue where you see Jackal’s background and get a better grasp of the character. Patience is a virtue with this series and considering the extreme vagueness of the story, there’s no guarantee everything will ultimately pay off.
Diskordia Vol. 1 is difficult to recommend. While not always well drawn, the surreal artwork is fascinating to look at. The adolescent writing is more artificial than a sincere peek into the harshness of teenage life. However, the rawness oozing from the book is admirable. If nothing more, the haunting world of Diskordia is worth a glance, just to witness the absurdity of it all.