Lolo XOXO is the latest post-apocalyptic title to hit the stands, this time coming from Aspen Comics of all publishers. It is a little strange to see as most of the titles they publish are fairly dissimilar to that particular realm of the science-fiction genre but what this book does have in common with every other title they put out is a strong female lead. If there is one thing that really defines the publisher more than anything else it is the proliferation of strong, character-driven women that bucks the trend of any other publisher and of which Lolo just happens to be one.
The problem with most post-apocalyptic stories is the inability to tell something new. Almost every scenario by this point in time has been played out whether it is nuclear war, disease, zombies or what have you. There are multiple films, books and comics that all tell versions of the same tale with the only difference being the ability of one to tell the story better than the other. Thankfully while Lola XOXO brings very little new to the table, it does manage to tell its tale very well and that is all thanks to creator, writer and artist Siya Oum.
What Oum does is take this familiar scenario and make it more about the characters, specifically Lola, with the setting taking a secondary position. It is still important as it has helped to shape her into the woman she is and that which the story is framed around, but it is Lola who brings it to life. Why and how the world finds itself in the shape that it is in is a question that is asked of course and it becomes a part of Lola’s further journeys. All you really need to know at the moment is that disaster struck, the world is trying to recover and Lola is trying to find her place within it as well as possibly trying to find out what happened to her parents and if there is a chance that they are still alive.
The story once again, is solid. Oum introduces us to our cast, main and supporting, the villains and the different classes of people and all of them highly interesting. We follow Lola who has been somewhat sheltered and a little naive into the wider world and by the story’s end, we have watched her grow into a smart and capable young woman. When all is said and done, Oum does not necessarily leave you hanging, but she does make you want to read more and due to her beautiful artwork and compelling words, a second series is already being published.
At the moment there is no physical collected edition which is a real shame on Aspen’s part as it would look absolutely beautiful on the printed page. The only option for now is to either try and track down the single issues or to read it digitally which again is a missed opportunity on the publisher’s part. So while you might find this book and its elements a little familiar, Oum has delivered a perfectly crafted book and it stands as one of the brightest new stars in the Aspen Universe.