The Whisper Wave 1 is an independent anthology comic compiled and illustrated by Jamie Jones, with stories written by Jones, Vita Ayala, Matthew Jones, Ryan Williams, Frank Barbiere, and Tres Dean.
Over the course of six short stories, we meet six different people who have taken on the mantle of The Whisper. Each is a story of heroics, but from very different angles, from warzones to dark and gritty city streets to a high tech future.
What’s great about The Whisper is that it reminds comic fans why they love comics. It shows off the range of the medium. It covers multiple genres while maintaining a constant through line. And, above all else, it’s inspirational. Again, these are stories of heroism, and by making The Whisper a mantle instead of a single person, Jones hammers home the point that anyone, at any time, in any place can be a hero. The mantle angle also shows how one person can inspire another to step up and be a hero.
There’s something for everyone in The Whisper. There’s something for the noir fan, for the sci-fi fan, and even the manga fan. This anthology celebrates comics in all forms, and each writer brings a palpable passion to their respective story.
While each chapter features a different writer, Jamie Jones draws, colors, and letters the entire book. His style is versatile; it works in all of these different genres without missing a beat. It’s almost hard to believe that a single artist did all of the stories; that’s how unique each chapter is. Even stories four and six – both of which step into crime/noir territory – feel distinct from each other.
But no matter the setting, Jones’ art is energetic. There’s real motion in the action, and real emotion in the quieter moments. His color work is extraordinary. From the bright and vibrant future of 2080, to the water colors of 1990 Kuwait, to the dark and muted city streets, every page of The Whisper pops in its own way. And again, Jones conveys strong emotion through his coloring, making you care about these characters that you only get to know in 5 to 8 pages at a time.
His lettering is also a huge part of generating tone and emotion throughout these stories. Each chapter is lettered differently, and each style puts you in the exact right head space from the first word. If it’s a more low-key story with a little brashness hiding just beneath the surface, the lettering conveys that. If it’s a 1980’s noir story, reminiscent of Sin City or Watchmen, the lettering coveys that. If it’s a big, bold manga-style punch fest, the lettering sure as hell conveys that. Lettering is one of the most powerful, yet subtle tools in a comic creators toolbox, and Jones seems to have a strong handle on it.
The Whisper is a celebration of all things comics, a reminder of what makes the medium so great. But most importantly – more than the subtext or the tributes – it’s so damn fun.
The Whisper Wave 1 will be available at Jamie’s booth at HeroesCon in June. You can also read it digitally and support Jamie’s work over on his Patreon page. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ArtOfJamieJones.
What comics pros are saying about The Whisper:
“The Whisper is Jamie’s plastic spoon as he chisels his way from the talent-to-watch-out-for cell and into the realm of fan favorite.” – Michel Fiffe (COPRA, BLOODSTRIKE)
“The Whisper is full of energy, complete with genre shifts and a blend of art styles that surprise. The art, all by Jamie Jones, is remarkable. Whether it’s a light, water color approach, or a dark noir-esque field of shadows, it’s all wonderful to look at.” – John Arcudi (RUMBLE, BPRD)
“Often, comics with experimental formats hang all of their value on the experiment itself, but in The Whisper, Jamie Jones and collaborators use the innovative structure the way an accomplished jazz trio use a composition, using the framework as a playground to create comisc with true vitality.” – Phil Hester (GREEN ARROW, SHIPWRECK, THE WRETCH)