The best thing about Jol is the art. The interior art is well done and I like the effects used for the portal opening from the cube as well as the panel bordering changing once Will enters this other world. The monsters are cool enough, although you can’t quite see them clearly, which is obviously done intentionally which Is a style that I can jive with.
Where the book falls short is in the story, dialogue, and editing. The story is straightforward which in itself is not a bad thing but just didn’t create any real intrigue on my part. I will admit that this first issue is set up as a classic mystery-type cliffhanger where you have to keep reading to find out what in the heck is actually going on. I would be willing to read the next issue to see if the story starts to go somewhere from here.
The dialogue is also simple and comes across as clunky and awkward. I also felt like some of the dialogue bubbles should have had more force behind them. When Will gets bit on the arm and cries out in pain it seems like he is barely yelling, and also the fact that he literally says “owwww!” also seems a bit corny.
The editing took a major dive on page 7 where it appears (unless I’m missing something here) that the panels are arranged backward, going up from the bottom of the page. I will add here though that I really liked the effect on pages 6-7 where the creepy antique shop is shown in a brown monotone color (Reminds me of the sepia filter for pictures) that makes it feel like it has a distinct atmosphere.
Overall, it is not bad but it is certainly lacking a bit in the story and dialogue. That one big error on page 7 also detracts from the overall quality and feel of the book. I would be interested in reading the next issue to see if things pick up and I hope that my criticisms would be helpful to the creators.