“Phart The First”
Welcome, welcome, welcome and finally welcome people! Welcome once again to the show that never ends, and the fun never bends! I’ve even drawn my logo on a paper towel! This is my first official column representing the medium I do so love- Indy Comics! Special thanks to my buddy Jay Katz of InvestComics™ who’s hooked me up with an online home, (I can’t seem to figure out how to work my own…yet), to showcase my bias and favor of the various books I’ll be reviewing here. Why bias? Why favor? Well I don’t really consider myself a serious journalist….hell I don’t consider myself a journalist at all in fact. I’m like most of the people whose comics I review or the cats I interview. I’m a fellow independent creator myself. You can consider me a small time, small press publisher and contributor. I know what I like…even if I don’t exactly know what it is right then at that time. Usually I can see the good in almost any project, you know why? Any project worth doing in someone else’s eyes, is usually worthy of something positive to say in my own time. That’s not to say there will not be some things I feel are at the work-in-progress stage, but as long as we are all on the same page…..maybe same ballpark…..ok same universe, it’s a start!
So with that said, let me ramble on less about myself and ramble on more about today’s column, the first official launching of Indy Hunter, (yes, that’s me)!
Let’s get it poppin’ with our first book with a more “Green” focus, that is:
Leaves of Yggdrasil by Joe McGlone.
Author/Creator: Joe McGlone.
Studio/Company: Fallen Image Productions.
Others: David House/Colors, tones, and Logo.
Editor: Jeremy Harper.
There’s something to be said about reading a comic based in Norse mythology as the mainstream world fevors on the cusp of Marvel Entertainment’s Thor movie. In about a year’s time expect to see childrens running around with rubber and foam Mjlinor hammers doing battle with their older uncles breaking out the worn down, dog gnawed Hulk Hands.
I digress…That’s the future this is now. Now? We’re gonna talk about creator Joe McGlone’s comic book “Leaves of Yggdrasil”, pronounced “igg-dra-sil”, (I had to look it up). Leaves of Yggdrasil is published by Fallen Image Productions and at first glance really isn’t what it reads.
Leaves on the front cover seems like a Buffy/Whedonesque archetype but upon opening the book and reading the first few pages I’m acceptably reminded of a fantastical, more-than-meets the eye final fantasy like approach to storytelling. It’s more like story-dreaming, if I can make up a phrase, (and I can, it’s my column). In that sense rather than trying to be too clever for its own good, (which I can admit I am guilty of aplenty), Leaves of Yggdrasil offers an intriguing muted but curious tone that asks you to take a stroll and find out what’s the happs. The artwork which I’ll get to later tends to follow as an afterthought to a good foundation for a fantasy meets our real-mundane world ala Harry Potter, Twilight, (the good parts, yes there were some….I think.), and that Percy Jackson vibe.
The story in question I’m babbling about? Here goes the spoil of an Indy epic in the Making!Leaves of Yggdrasil’s main protagonist is student Sarah Callahan who is plagued by dreams of a one-eyed old man, (Don’t we all dream of old men?).The ocular, uni-challenged old man in the “mysterious” trench coat is none other than the all-father himself Odin.
The Odinator is reaching out to Sarah who happens to be his daughter. Joe McGlone’s version of Odin in a quick, non-decompressed old school comic story delivery bestows upon the school girl skirted Sarah Mac Asgardian gifts. In a world of fiction that with the exception of Buffy usually focuses on a male young adolescent who hasn’t yet seen his first pube inherit power and legacy-it is refreshing to see Norse gods, oh ho bad ass deities that Vikings and Norwegian Black Metal bands worship give some respect and love to young female lead characters. This is like a Norwegian Sailor Moon without the cheese folks!
Daddy’s little girl will always remain close to his heart apparently, (as it is the same for me).
This story left me with more questions and yet a willingness to read more of Joe McGlone’s Leaves of Yggdrasil. I hope to see other takes on Asgardians we know and love especially if you factor in Sarah Mac’s family lineage. She is after all siblings to both Thor and Loki, so seeing how and if that plays within this story will be interesting and a tall order for Joe Mac G. In story McGlone gives a well paced good starting point to the readers who are about to travel with Sarah to worlds not quite our own.
However, despite my praise for the tale Joe and Co. are spinning, fates would have it there are a few issues or at the very least some work-in-progress trials for Joe McGlone’s Leaves of Yggdrasil.
Artist Joe McGlone makes an effort at story telling with an attempt at dynamic panel arrangements and I honestly was able to follow the story with little effort but the actual construction of the characters and over all artwork leads this nut, (me), to believe Joe is still working on some fundamentals. If he tunes up his basics and commits to his over-all craft it would serve his story better.
Still, I can’t stand it when back seat artists try to dissuade an artist not to draw the comic they want to draw especially until they have mastered every discipline of art and illustration. I would encourage Joe to keep working on the artwork overall in Leaves of Yggdrasil and bring it up to the same if not better level that his script is spinning. We all can applaud Joe and Co.’s efforts. David House’s toning and effects are a step in the right direction and should be noted.
So Joe, get back to that drawing board and drill, baby, DRILL! I encourage everyone to check out Leaves of Yggdrasil and watch Joe’s story and artwork grow one branch at a time as they strive to mystify us with the ongoing adventures of Sarah McCallahan!
-Your Indy Hunter, J.M. Hunter.
"And Yet I Remain, Still Tapping That Billboard!"
Posted originally: 2010-05-20 21:38:23
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