Viking #1

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Apr 2009 | Image

Script: Ivan Brandon
Art: Nic Klein
Colour: Nic Klein
Letters: Kristyn Ferretti | Nic Klein

Finn and Egil are raiders stealing their way to the top and they sent a messenger to their next target King Bram. But things aren’t going to be easy for them for long when people start fighting back.

The art is the first thing that affected me. I didn’t care too much of it at first. It seemed a bit too sketchy and messy for me. It’s a perfect match for this violent story. I just dislike how the characters sometimes look different in other panels.

It took a bit of time to get used to the writing, actually the style of speaking. I also have a hard time with the names. I can’t quite put them to faces and am a bit confused as to what’s going on. I hope things will come together more in the next book, or I’m done. I realize this is likely setting things up, but I don’t do confusion very well. This isn’t a compelling confusion, but a frustrating one.

Be A Man, Aki.

Not what you think I want a man to be.

Despite the confusion, I do like the writing. It adds to the experience. It’s better than reading a period piece where the characters all speak like present day. I definitely need patience, though to get through it.

Looking back, though, I’m not too certain I want to continue reading this. I’d be getting it for the art, more than the story, but my problems with inconsistently looking characters puts me off a bit. In one panel Annikki looks like a beautiful woman, the next, her face looks like an ugly common girl with the lips of an old woman.  Even Ketil’s face looks different between panels. The more I look through this art, the more my likes start to wane. I’m not certain I like the different styles used, either. Some panels being beautifully painted while others sketchy and messy, and others still a weird combination of both. It looks more like two different artists worked on this book, cobbling it together. It’s weird. Maybe I just need to get used to it and mellow out.

I still say it’s a good match for the story. Viking needs this gritty art and I can’t picture anything cleaner settling right. I still just don’t know. I’m very conflicted and even now I feel my opinions changing, so I’m going to just leave it as it is. I’ll read the second issue before passing any final judgments.

Frank Frazetta’s Neanderthal

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2009 | Image

Story: Chris Ryall | Jay Fotos
Script: Chris Ryall
Art: Tim Vigil | Jay Fotos

Other than preview issues and other cheap comics with interesting covers, the one shot is my other weakness.

This story begins 40,000 years ago during the middle Paleolithic era in Kalanaan. A Neanderthal lies in wait of his prey, a large sabre-toothed lion. On his way carrying it home, he sees something which causes him to drop his hunt and run to his tribe. There he has difficulties explaining what he had seen. When he draws it upon the cave walls, the others express varying emotion. The men gather their weapons and go to the site where he dropped the hunt. There, they encounter more civilized men with spears, bows and dressed in better clothing.  It is then we see the cave drawing.

The art of this book is pretty good, and without much dialogue, we’ve only got the art to tell the story which it does a rather good job of. Though, this isn’t anything spectacular. Reaching the end, my reaction was more of an “oh..” than a “wow” and that “oh” was hardly worth four dollars, especially since it’s just a one-shot. If there were a few more issues, i might not have felt quite so cheated, as this was interesting enough for me to probably get the next issue. Only, it isn’t.

This book isn’t entirely worthless. It was a nice ride following the panels, seeing the emotions of the Neanderthal’s faces, their frustration and struggles. It’s the ending that pretty much kills it. A stick figure drawing of the evolution of man. very clever. *yawn* This is what I get, four dollars for wit I’ve seen executed in other ways by newspaper comic strips but with far less panels and less violence.

Oh well, at least it kept me entertained for five minutes.

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