Review: Flesh & Flora from Quindrie Press
How about a biomechanical landscape set, chirp-tending accident fable with a heavy dose of self-preservation cautionary tale starring a cyborg and a mech in an accomplished Anime style with hints of cyberpunk? Well, trust me, you want to try Flesh & Flora by Norrie Millar.
Norrie Millar is a Scottish comics creator, illustrator and character designer. He's a rood dood with attitood with artist credits for the highly anticipated Aero GPX game, an impressive portfolio at behance.net/norriemillar and an even more intriguing print shop at inprnt.com/gallery/norriemillar/.
His comic Flesh & Flora is coming hot off the back of the wildly successful 2023 comic collection Kickstarter from one of our favourite publishers, the Scottish creator-focused, award-winning, Eisner-nominated micropublisher Quindrie Press. We do love their comics.
So, let's start with the art. Norrie has a very cool style that’s anime-laced with an organic vein of cyberpunk. It reminded me of a less violent Clark Bint style - softcore vs. hardcore would be the comparison that comes to mind.
The character designs are excellent choices: Gem as an exposed cyborg with strong cyberpunk aesthetics, and the hulking Hare having big, friendly mech vibes that make them instantly lovable, even if they're not very good at supporting life. The chirps stand out with adorable stunted Chocobo-like characteristics. In fact, the flora and fauna that Norrie creates really stands out.
The depicted biomechanical landscape truly shines as it evolves through this comic and alludes to a bigger story running just under the surface. The panel layouts are on point to impact this story with key notes, and the immensely talented Eve Greenwood should be commended for dynamic lettering that ties the art all together.
The dramatic and even emotional climax to the story is presented visually in a particularly impressive manner, chock full of clever detail. The Chirp lead "restart" scene injecting a bit of fun humour to cap things off. Entertaining and delightful stuff.
Story time then and Norrie's delving into themes of identity and the ego's role in responsibility through non-human characters. These animatronics work as idealistic examples to play with consciousness along with time perception as well, adding to a richly layered story. This comic drives these themes with its main characters, the aforementioned cyborg Gen and mech Hare.
An incident with a bucket of chirp feed will be the gateway to the introduction of Hare with the air of a wiser, seasoned mech, although an inept keeper of operators. A chance encounter with a new species will bring into play a dynamic horned force that will push the action, emotion and those questions of ego and consciousness to a fast-paced, dramatic crescendo.
The unspoken narrative of the evolving landscape dabs intriguing elements into this story's portrayal of time and, as mentioned earlier, alludes to something that would be compelling if expanded upon. A continuation of this story beyond this issue would be an exciting prospect. I think we’re very thankful here at Comic Book News to Quindrie Press for continuing to illuminate talented creators.
For fans of anime-styled, cyberpunk element-spattered explorations of identity, ego and consciousness, chirps being derps, hulking wise mechs that you wouldn’t leave in charge of a goldfish, farm-based accidents in the workplace and entertaining comics, I would recommend Flesh & Flora. To get your copy, please head to Quindrie Presses website quindriepress.com for physical and digital copies. For more Norrie, don’t forget those websites mentioned in the introduction and check out his Instagram @norriemillar and Twitter @PrehistoricFrog.