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Review – Atlantis Wasn’t Built For Tourists #1 (Scout Comics)

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7.5/10
  • Writing - 7/10
    7/10
  • Art - 8/10
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  • Overall - 7.5/10
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Atlantis Wasn't Built for Tourists #1

Writer: Eric Palicki
Artist: Wendell Cavalcanti
Colorist: Mark Dale
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Publisher: Scout Comics
Release Date: August 5, 2020

Lucas Lewis happens upon Atlantis, Oregon, a small town tucked into the wilderness of the great state of Oregon. But this small town has a big secret that it doesn’t want getting out.

 

Odd Town Vibes in Atlantis Wasn’t Built for Tourists #1

Welcome to Atlantis, Oregon, a small town stuck in the middle of the wild wilderness of Oregon. In Atlantis Wasn’t Built for Tourists #1 Lucas Lewis finds himself drifting through town. Backpacking across the USA has brought Lewis to a lot of places, but none quite as odd as Atlantis. The Sheriff keeps a tight grip on the community and an odd night-time curfew shuts the town completely down. Something odd and sinister is happening in Atlantis. Lewis is about to find all about it in Atlantis Wasn’t Built for Tourists #1.

"<yoastmarkOriginally a fully-backed Kickstarter project for a 92-page graphic novel, Atlantis Wasn’t Built for Tourists (don’t look at the Kickstarter unless you want to be spoiled!) has come to Scout Comics for a single-issue release format. The Kickstarter page notes it as “Lovecraft meets Leone in this sort-of sequel to ‘Shadow Over Innsmouth'”. Come join Lucas Lewis as he discovers the terror of Atlantis.

Writing

Eric Palicki takes us on this wild ride in Atlantis Wasn’t Built for Tourists #1. He does a fantastic job of building that Lovecraftian, sinister vibe straight from the start of the issue. Palicki does a wonderful job of building this uneasy tone as he introduces us to the town of Atlantis and its residents. He does a great job of playing with that vibe through the first few pages of the issue. We get to discover the town with Lewis and feel his tentativeness as he is shown around.

So, this is going to be hard to talk about without spoiling anything in Atlantis Wasn’t Built for Tourists #1. I am going to be very vague but still try to get my point across. There are two big twists that happen in the first issue and I think they come a bit too early. I was really digging the uneasy/supernatural vibe of this town and the sheriff. Palicki very quickly reveals what the town is hiding. It kind of lost the steam of the issue for me. He should have teased out the twists a bit more. But I guess that is also a problem when this book was originally a graphic novel, so the pacing is different.

There is a second twist that does redeem the book for the first early twist. I like it and don’t like it at the same time. Again, I can’t really talk about it without majorly spoiling the book. It is, though, crazy supernatural and I was kind of hoping for a little more sinister/light supernatural. But it is also kind of cool at the same time.

Art

Wendell Cavalcanti delivers some delightful art in Atlantis Wasn’t Built for Tourists #1. He gives the issue a Sean Phillips art type vibe immediately, bringing forth that imagery of a Brubaker/Phillips crime comic story. It fits perfectly for the start of the issue. Some tremendous character detail and storytelling throughout the issue.

He does a wonderful job, once again, bringing that Lovecraftian underlying horror to the town of Atlantis. From slight character glances/facial expressions to scene setups to panel angles, Cavalcanti does a great job of bringing that feeling on every page.

The coloring work by Mark Dale also does an excellent job with that feel, and pairs well with Cavalcanti’s pencils and inks. Nice use of lighter and darker tones. It is also nice to see Shawn Lee on letters. He is one of the best in the business and it shows through the pages.

Conclusion

I am in a bit of a conundrum with Atlantis Wasn’t Built for Tourists #1. Delightful sinister/uneasy vibe that was at the start of the story. It had a nice mystery feel to it. It still has a nice mystery feel at the end, as well. The characters are well done and it had a feel like the Wayward Pines television show. The art was also excellent throughout the issue.

The middle twist just pulled me out of the story. For one, I don’t know if I really like what it is. Secondly, I wished Palicki could have teased it out a little bit more. The second twist as well, while it is interesting, I don’t know how much I like it. But at the same time, it does make the first twist more interesting.

Atlantis Wasn’t Built for Tourists #1 does have me on for a second issue, at least. Mainly so I can talk about those twists without spoiling anything. We will see what the second issue brings.


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