However you feel about Ava’s Demon, or whether (like me) you can’t quite make up your mind, I don’t think many would argue that it’s not original.
I’ll talk about all the normal bits below but the one aspect I get hung up on is that it’s presented in single panels. They’re like frames from an animated movie that someone drew speech bubbles on. I’ve never seen it done anywhere else and it’s really, really odd.
Does this mode of presentation improve the reading experience? Hinder it? It doesn’t seem to do either to be honest; it just makes it it’s own unique little self.
The characters and comic concept
Fifteen year old Ava is tormented by a narcissistic and cruel demon that has ruined her life, driven away her friends and bought to the brink of despair.
But there’s more to the demon that she realises and eventually it tempts her into accepting a pact that promises her a new life in exchange for aiding the demon in its vengeance on the most powerful being in the galaxy – Titan.
I’ve put the comic’s genre as Sci-fi/Fantasy because despite being in a clearly sci-fi setting it’s actual concept is closer to fantasy. It’s one thing to say sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic but in this case I think it’s more accurate to describe the setting as sci-fi where magic actually exists.
The story in Ava’s Demon is abrupt, generally moves quickly and could be said to be lacking in depth. However, and this is where I can’t quite decide if Ava’s Demon is being very clever or it’s simply a choice of style, there is just enough casually dropped references in both art and dialog to give them impression that perhaps rather than lacking depth it’s just a fast paced story rapidly moving over the top of a well-developed universe.
However to maintain it’s rapid pace the plot does rely quite heavily on what appear to be remarkably lucky co-incidences to move things forward. In a galaxy apparently full of different worlds, and with each world presumably inhabited by millions of beings, Ava has remarkably good fortune in running into precisely the people she needs to.
There are also a few moments where you may well say to yourself “Wait, they did what?! That doesn’t seem to make any sense…” In a way it’s not dissimilar to a Hollywood blockbuster, it’s a fun ride but it doesn’t pay to think about it too much.
What Ava’s Demon does have are some really interesting and unique concepts, stuff that certainly made me sit back and say “Ok, that’s cool.” It’s hard to find something that’s as original as this so for that alone Ava’s Demon is worth the time.
The art in Ava’s Demon is done at a professional level (which isn’t a surprise if you read about the author below) and showcases it’s concepts extremely well.
At the end of each chapter there is also an animation to watch. They’re simply done but still quite effective.
Author, publishing and timeline
The author of Ava’s Demon is Michelle Czajkowski who graduated with Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York.
She has worked as a professional artist and notably she interned for Pixar and worked for DreamWorks Animation. She now develops Ava’s Demon full time.
Michelle has mentioned that the story of Ava’s Demon has already been written and completed, it just needs drawing. That doesn’t give us a timeline but it certainly sounds promising from a “will this ever actually get finished” perspective.
So speculating wildly as I like to do; having run for close to two and a half years the story line feels maybe a third of the way through, certainly it feels like we have entered the second act. So maybe another five years to complete?
Ava’s Demon has been published through Kickstarter projects and in fact the one for Book Two is running right now. There is a backer tier which will give you a copy of both Book One and Book Two but if you’re interested you better be quick it only has three days left!
Some copies of Book One were also sold separately in the store which you can access via a link on the comics homepage or here. However Book One has been sold out for some time but maybe there will be more coming in off the back of the current Kickstarter.