Botanical Space!

Helena Rose: An Intergalactic Fairytale

Publisher: Emet Comics
Writer: E.O. Levendorf
Art/Letters: Sonia Liao
Colors: Veronica Fish

Those of you that are die hard Music City Comic fans or have ever spoken with me know that I am always a big promoter of a larger female presence within the comics industry. Those same fans ALSO know that I interviewed Maytal Gilboa a while back (check out my iTunes feed) and she gave the down low on her publication which aims to bring more female creators into the spotlight. Recently I was given this stunning gem and I can say with full certainty that there is a great level of clout in this company as well as a dedication to Emet's mission statement.

Helena Rose tells the story of... Helena Rose! A young woman who has to wear a helmet due to her severe "allergies". The rebellious youth and her family live on the lush, botanical planet of Flora in the area known as the Floridian Ring. The citizens of this planet all have a roses within their upper abdomen which denotes their lifespan. Helena soon discovers that what she thought to be severe allergies is actually a fatal defect as her rose has fewer petals than everyone else. In other words, she will be dying soon. Her family has found a peculiar medicine man who says he has a cure, but it will come at great cost. Helena will not let her affliction destroy her family, but she has no intention of dying either... Perhaps a remnant from a long lost relative will help.

Levendorf provides a charming protagonist that doesn't let her situation drag her into the depths of depression. Even though the situation may seem hopeless, Helena still pulls fun out of every situation and holds a steadfast determination to get out of this problem. Joining Helena for the issue is her affluent and excentric family. Each member is lavish but enjoyable and when it comes down to it, only want wants best for Helena, regardless of the consequences. As this first, very story filled issue continues, we see Helena make incredibly difficult choices that will effect her and her loved ones in a big way. This main protagonist is, for all intents and purposes, a child. However, Levendorf gives her such an enormous presence with mature decisions to be made and mysteries much larger than herself to solve, all of which will suck the reader in and demand further attention.

Also demanding further attention is the art of Sonia Liao. Her storybook style provides a fresh take on the sci-fi genre. It's almost like an early 1900s character model with a few sci-fi twists tying the story, genre, and art together in a beautiful package. We also get to see a number of the machines and weaponry present in this futuristic society, each with it's own use and just far enough outside the box where it is believable in this world while not detracting from the characters or environments. Speaking of environments, the plant life plays such an enormous part to this world, and with it comes a good level of whimsy. The lush environments represent a world rich in color and substance with plenty to look at. When those environments are combined with these unique and extravagant characters, there is a prominence which is very apparent on each page. I'd also like to mention the airy colors of Veronica Fish, who uses light, pastel tones to further portray the paradisaical city.

As a foray into the world of Emet Comics, you can't go wrong with Helena Rose. Whether a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, or just gorgeous visuals, this is the way to go. Levendorf and Liao are presenting the overture of a grand space opera, and you can get a front row seat. Pick up this comic RIGHT HERE! Oh, and check out Sonia Liao's webcomic, Zaen Well.

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