Review: Masque

Review By David Ferguson

  • Art by Joe Roche
  • Photography by Alex Roche
  • Created, written and lettered by Ray Roche
  • Edit by Hayley Roche

When you are reading (and sometimes reviewing) a lot of books, you tend to yearn for something a little bit different. Masque is a book that gives you that. I am usually not a fan of photo covers but this one really grabs you and it certainly made me wonder about what was going on inside. I’d even seen one or two creators online taken in by the image and wanting to read the book based on it alone.

After reading the book, there was one thing I was debating about. The back of the book contains a few paragraphs where the main character outlines some insights into her state of mind and how she sees the world. When Ray Roche sent us the pdf, he noted this and suggested reading it first. I must have been tired or something but I missed this suggestion and read the book first and read that after. I think it is more interesting to read the book, read the back, then read the book again. I think it helps you get even more out of it. Discussing the book with Ray, I got some interesting insights into his creative process and how what is going on with the character not only affects the character’s view of the world but also her speech patterns. That’s why I think the book warrants an interview so I’ll hopefully get to one soon.

On the art, Ray told me that they had tried traditional methods but it didn’t really capture how the character should see the world so they went with photography. I think it is an interesting choice and certainly does a lot to make the book stand out. The story impacts the art greatly down to the choice of the main character wearing a mask. For me, this is comics 101. The art choices and the writing working together to bring out the story. Again, I think I need to reach out to Ray so he can provide more detail on the process as this review can only go far into it. I’d like to get more into how Joe (on art) and Alex (on photography) worked together to get to the images we see.

Masque really is something different and I want to see more of this view of the world.