written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
The whole post-apocalyptic vibe has seemingly been overrun with zombies lately, don’t get me wrong… I love me some stinky dead things… okay that sounds bad, but seriously I do enjoy my zombie fiction, but sometimes you just want some post-apocalyptia in the vein of like Mad Max or more recently the Fallout series of video games.
Onward to the whole point of this post, you should be reading Lola XOXO by the super talented Siya Oum. Credited as the writer and the artist, Siya Oum crafts the story of a young girl surviving the wastelands of a post-nuclear United States. Survival’s the name of the game when all forms of order and government are thrown completely out the window.
The story opens with a young Lola, reluctantly getting on a plane at LAX to visit grandma. Now of course this wouldn’t be a post-apocalyptic tale without something apocalyptic occurring (say apocalyptic one more time!) right? While en route, a large explosion causes the plane to make an emergency landing. Left alone, Lola frantically searches for someone to help her, there she meets a man named Conrad. The pair watches with disbelief live news coverage of Santa Monica and New York left in ruin, the two realize that nothing will ever be the same.
Fast forward a few years later and Lola is all grown up, no longer the lone helpless little girl relying on Conrad. The world has also changed, in the ruins of what was once civilization; people have to survive by scavenging for supplies. Conrad is still around, now a trader, he's cared for Lola during her formative years. Lola wishes to join his caravan, travelling along the trade routes in a hope to stumble across any clues to what happened to her parents.
This first issue serves as a good jumping off point to introduce the titular character, though Lola’s tough as nails and as beautiful as she is capable, she’s also prone to fits of youth-fueled fool hardy; this of course lands her in a pretty sticky situation come the end of the book. Conrad acts as the surrogate father type character, looking out for her best interests but seemingly still sees Lola as that lost little girl. Aside from an argument with Conrad and an all too brief bar brawl, conflict is light in this first issue.
The art stood out the most to me; Oum’s art style is as gorgeous as it is gritty. Lola’s character design really stands out amongst the dilapidated ruins of what was once a bustling city. There’s beauty in how destroyed the world around her looks, and the stark contrast between the wasteland and the settlements really drives the point home that this whole new world is dangerous indeed.
I, for one, am looking forward to the next issue, and with the way this first issue ended, I can't wait to see what happens next. So what are you waiting for? You should be reading Lola XOXO