XS Hybrid Vol. 1 graphic novel
Writer/Artist/Cover artist: Song Ji-Hyung
Translation: Jay So
Lettering: Kathryn Renta
Editor: Tim Ervin
Publisher: Dark Horse/Dark Horse Manwha
Price: $10.95 US
This Korean comic was originally published in 2003, but it made its way westward last year thanks to Dark Horse Comics and its line of translated manwha books. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Asian comics in the past, but there have been some select titles that caught my attention and impressed. The simple but slick design for this book caught my eye, and the blurb on the back led me to sit down and give it a read. Song Ji-Hyung certainly brings a lot of personality and attitude to his characters, and his linework brings an undeniable energy and lightspeed-quick pace to the action. It seems clear to me that Song is more of an artist than a writer. The focus in on the visuals; there’s not nearly enough information conveyed through dialogue or captions in order for the reader to follow the story rather than the action. The first half of the book is confusing, and the central plot only just begins to come into focus in the latter chapters of this volume.