BEASTLANDS, ISSUE #1
Writer: Curtis Clow Art: Jo Mi-Gyeong
Letters: Toben Racicot Publisher: Self-Published through Kickstarter
WHAT IS IT?
A beautiful, epic fantasy where intelligent and powerful beasts act as friends, guardians or teammates.
The art has a definite Miyazaki feel, though the story has more of a classic JRPG vibe.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Keepers are fantastical creatures roughly about the size of a large dog or a small horse (you can see an example in the cover image). They’re powerful, intelligent beasts and close companions. But when a king loses his daughter because her guardian keeper couldn’t defend her, he outlaws all keepers in his lands. The kind of "outlaw" where if one is seen, it's killed on-sight. Meanwhile, Mac is searching for his father, who seems to be a man on the move, constantly eluding him. In his desperate attempt to catch up and search for clues, he sends his friends and his keeper, Renzo, away. When he returns to camp and finds Renzo never came back, his party must spend precious time to track the keeper down. But finding the keeper won’t be simple...
Jo Mi-Gyeong's beautiful, striking art is an absolute treasure
It'll absolutely scratch your Miyazaki or JRPG fantasy itch
The art and color is so thoughtful for location, mood, weather and time of day, it feels like you're playing through a video game where time passes
Mi-Gyeong's character design for the humans and the Keepers is also strong, especially with regard to all the emotion captured in their facial expressions
The final page in this issue is so detailed and powerful, it'll take your breath away
Curtis Clow has a talent for world-building and big picture storytelling
He brings disparate groups together and has motivations set for each of them, which is important to hook readers and tell a good story
He also knows how to use action and suspense to keep things interesting!
Toben Racicot's lettering is on point, with a healthy and varied use of sound effects and word balloons with just the right amount of air in them
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
Cursing and violence mean this book is probably not for kids
While Clow's world-building and big picture writing are strong, characterization is weaker and emotional moments don't always feel earned
It could be the writing and art not working well together, or trying to fit too much into a single issue, or it could be just something Clow needs to develop more
His overuse of the "double-dash" ("--") can also be distracting
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It absolutely feels like there's a good lot of story to tell in Beastlands, and we're only getting started. While nitpickers like me can find some fault with the writing, overall, Beastlands is a delight. You should definitely consider donating to the Kickstarter, even if only to see more of Jo Mi-Gyeong's stunning art.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
The Kickstarter for Beastlands kicks off March 19, 2019.
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Curtis Clow & Jo Mi-Gyeong characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Curtis Clow & Jo Mi-Gyeong or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED