In Crossgen's heyday, you'd hear so much online talk and even talk in some of the comic shops about how awesome this new publisher was. They were tapping new genres. Each title was beautiful to look at. Their little interconnected universe was something to behold. Even after hearing all the positive talk, I never could bring myself to dive in, mainly because I didn't want to pick up a series right in the middle of a run (yeah, I'm one of THOSE people). After a while I finally gave in, though, and picked up a few issues here and there, but I never read them. I was waiting to finish their runs before I started. Then Crossgen collapsed and I found I could pick up the tpb's on Amazon for dirt cheap (like $2 a pop) and the actual comics at conventions for $1 a pop or less. Well, Sigil was the first series that I completed and I'm now making my first venture into the world of Crossgen.
I was actually pretty stoked to read Sigil since I'm a huge sci-fi nut and I really think that sci-fi is an overlooked genre in comics at the moment. After I got about halfway through this first arc (which I have in tpb form), I was wondering when I was going to start being impressed. Kessel was writing a decent story, but I wasn't drawn in and I had a hard time feeling a connection to the characters. One of the things that might have led to this feeling is the art.
As pretty as the art by the Lai brothers is, it's really hard to differentiate characters. Their style made both of the male leads look almost completely the same so I had a hard time figuring out which one was doing which and whatnot. It got a little easier to differentiate the two once Sam received his Sigil, but they were both still drawn somewhat similar. The renderings of the starships were also nothing special. They felt like very generic styles and I felt no attraction to them. Beyond these things, I found the art easy on the eyes and very manga influenced (so if you are not a fan of the manga look... well, you might want to pass over this arc).
Like I said before, the story was nothing too special. You're introduced to the characters, get a little glimpse into their personalities, and then watch a rescue mission unfold over the course of four issues. There's some great action scenes and plenty of sci-fi trappings to keep sci-fi nuts happy, but I was underwhelmed, especially after so much praise for the CG universe and this title itself. It's not terrible, no. It kept my interest and I'm still anxious to continue reading the series, but I don't think it lived up to its potential, or at least it hasn't yet.