By Joe Keatinge, Leila del Duca, Owen Gieni and Ed Brisson
Kate Kristopher’s adventurous discovery of her family’s background continues in the fourth installment of Shutter. Kate returns to her childhood house and is greeted by some surprise guests and revelations that lead to more questions. Keatinge and del Duca continue to create mystery and adventure in the strange and fun world of Shutter.
Each issue of Shutter has a unique storytelling device and no two first acts are the same. Given this premise, it’s exciting to see what new imaginative way Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca have in store for the first couple of pages of each issue. Issue 4 opens with a parable not unlike Oscar Wilde’s Short Stories for Children. The first couple of pages contain 4 equally sized panels with expository text underneath each panel. del Duca successfully captures the mood of a Classics Illustrated with a touch of Golden Books illustration to nail the parable vibe. The main character of this fable is Kate’s family butler, Harrington, who was briefly introduced at the end of issue 3. Harrington provides a little insight not only to Kate but to readers as well. Keatinge uses the voice of Harrington and robot Harold to provide some touching and humorous flashback sequences. Kate receives some insight from her nanny, The General, as well which broadens the mystery that is Kate’s family. This is a transition issue and at times transition issues at their worst can be boring, however Keatinge’s fun dialogue and clever introductions keep the issue engaging and far from drab.
Illustrating Keatinge’s creative world of Shutter is the talented team of Leila del Duca and Owen Gieni. As imaginative as the script is, del Duca and Gieni are equal in their versatility. Both artists make slight changes to their style to reflect the changes in mood and storytelling device from page to page. Flashback sequences range from animated, ghostly and pleasantly dreamy accommodating the script. del Duca’s pencils and inks stream from the eyes of both the reader and Kate, a touching transparent flashback scene with muted blues and whites by courtesy of the careful colors by Giene. Because of these subtle changes, del Duca and Gieni contribute to the page turning quality of each issue.
Sequences in this book may appear to be non sequiturs, however there is a bigger picture being slowly revealed in each entertaining installment. And this issue is equally entertaining as the three that preceded it. The strange and wondrous world of Keatinge and del Duca’s Shutter continues to fascinate with new revelations which helps keep the page turning momentum going.