Review: Blinded by Joe S. Farrar

by Benjamin Williams
14th May, 2024
3 minutes

If you enjoy experimental comics that will make you think, that puts you in the mind of the protagonist, or even just want to see how impactful a letterer can be to a comic, then you need to check out Blinded by Joe S. Farrar and Rob Jones. This is a comic like no other.

Blinded #1 cover

Blinded is an experimental comic book that tells the story of a young woman named Sam, who loses her sight in an accident. As the story progresses, she tries to adjust to her new life by relying on her other senses. And that's where we, as readers, come in. Prepare to be put in the mind of Sam and experience a story as though you are the main character.

What makes this comic experimental? Unlike traditional comics, there is no art or imagery to guide the reader. Instead, the story is told purely through the sounds that Sam hears in her life, which are represented by speech and special effects. The purpose of this approach is to immerse the reader in Sam's world and make them experience the story as if they were also unable to see the events.

Now, usually, we start with the art. But that's a bit difficult here since there is none. But what that does give us the opportunity to do is to celebrate the letterer for a change. We always talk about the letterer anyway in our reviews since it's a key part of comics. But this is a new level of key. And it's fitting that the person to showcase just how good lettering a comic can be is one of our favourites, and honestly one of the best around, Rob Jones.

Blinded #1 preview one

There are three main areas I want to highlight. One is lettering without any art at all to guide where the speech bubbles go must have been a fairly unique experience and pretty weird. That alone deserves props.

Secondly, despite the pages being blacked out, Rob has managed to give a sense of panels on some pages, giving edges to some of the bubbles which adds another element to the comic and how you are visualising the pages.

And thirdly, there's a double page spread that is just epic, showing how sounds now overwhelm Sam. Lots of bubbles and different fonts are used. Like Rob just went wild. What it produces is an incredible page that overwhelms and bombards you with sounds. It's a work of art in a comic with no art. That statement might seem weird, but trust me, you'll understand when you see it.

Blinded #1 preview two

As for the writing, it's probably not as much of a challenge for Joe Farrar as it was for Rob, but writing a comic like this must still be quite different. And that was also the aim, to do something unusual. Instead of a comic without words, he's written a comic that is just words - but that's a novel, I hear you cry... and no, in this case, it is not.

Joe transports us into Sam's new life of blindness. You feel her emotions in a completely different way than you would with a standard comic. Sam's thoughts and what she says take on a completely new feeling as you basically become Sam. It's an incredibly emotional rollercoaster of a comic that highlights genuine talent, not only in conceiving the idea but also in bringing it to life in a captivating manner.

Overall, Blinded is really something. This is one that I knew would be enjoyable for the experimental aspect, but I didn't realise just how good the concept could be. A comic without any art? It shouldn't work as well as it does, but when you have a writer as good as Joe and one of the best letterers around, magic can happen. And that's what we get. I love this comic and absolutely cannot wait for more.

Rating: 5/5

There are still a few days to back this on Kickstarter, so make sure to check it out. For just £1 for a digital copy, you will absolutely not be disappointed. Even £5 for a physical is well worth it, in my opinion.

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