While trotting around Baltimore Comic Con looking for great artwork to commandeer I stumbled upon the talented Chris Campana. First he blew me away with his great art style and then the Kantara series. Now, I know it’s been a long time since that September show but I have finally gotten time enough to sit down and tell you about the book. I won’t give you a ton of background on the book but a general overview before telling you what I thought of the two issues I read.
First place to start is the book itself. The first two issues introduce you to the band of characters you will be following around on this adventure. It sets up a world that was once inhabited by dragons that gave magical power to chieftains, all before being eradicated by Lord Orem. While learning about Orem and his hate for dragons we are introduced to the man he is torturing for information, Ris, our hero in waiting.
One of things that stuck out to me was the writing. What really intrigued me was that this series does not read like a comic. The book is extremely caption heavy which leads it more to be like a novel than a comic series. In most books the artwork tells you the story and the captions fill you in on the details that might not get across in the images, this contrast is both good and bad in the writing. With the caption heavy story the first two issues seemed to drag on. With a more conventional comic these two issues could have been condensed into one.
The highlight of this book was the artwork. As I have previously stated Campana’s artwork is what drawn me to the table and led me to buy the books. His action sequences are amazing and his facial expressions are spot on. The books are extremely well story boarded and transition well from point to point. The one issue that I had was the inks. In the first issue the inks seemed to be a bit more fluid and not so heavy. It wasn’t a huge difference but to me the first issue was much better and visually more appealing.
Finally, my most perplexing issue, the coloring. I went over the colors numerous times with a good friend of mine, who is a published writer and comic book connoisseur. At first I was not a fan of the colors. I felt that with the tone of the story and the design of the art, a darker more earthly coloring scheme would have made the book pop more. I was informed however that the coloring style fit the science fiction fantasy type story it was. After reading through the books a third time while listening to the advice of my friend and this time focusing on the tone of the story with the coloring scheme, I concluded that he was right. Well done.
Now, after listening to my comments it seems that I have nitpicked this book apart when in actuality I have laid out my opinions on how to make this series go boom in the future. This series has a ton of potential and it has the proper creative team to become a house hold name in the independent comic world and beyond. If you have any doubts about my thoughts on this series then listen to my answer to a simple question, would I add this to my pull list? Yes. Hell yes actually. With that being said get on their WEBSITE and buy the books or hunt them down at a convention and get signed copies in person. It may not be the greatest piece of comic literature in the last ten years but it’s extremely well done and you will not regret this purchase.
I give it 3 of 5 Denarii.