Writer: Ryan Bis
Illustrator: Giulia Lalli
Colorist: Kaytee Brown
Letterer: Matias Zanetti
Publisher: Curious Perspective Comics
WHAT IS IT?
A fantasy story set in a peaceful land recovering from a devastating war. When one side decides to pick up where they left off, a motley crew of warriors set aside their differences to stop a rising tyrant.
Imagine Disney takes on Game of Thrones.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Some forty years after the end of a devastating war between the civilization of Saldyria and the rebel group known as The Fallen, the people have rebuilt and moved on. Until a group of rebels, led by the vengeful Silas, raid a small fishing town of no repute looking for a magical crystal.
In the aftermath of the brutal and callous attack, we meet Dante, a guard from the city searching for his sister after hearing of the attack; Jalen, a soldier transporting two children to New Saldyria to enlist them in the Academy; and a mysterious warrior with her own magical Crystal who has swapped allegiance from Silas after she learns of his blood-drenched raid. Fate has intertwined their paths, but will they be able to work together to prevent the coming war?
If you don’t want to hang around for the story to get going, Ruination is for you. It starts off strongly, setting into action almost immediately in the first scene.
Ryan Bis has written a strong plot that moves fast enough to keep you engaged, but never sacrifices narrative value along the way.
Dialogue sounds natural, it definitely feels like real conversation, not scripted lines.
The execution of the final scene is great, it changes setting and mood completely, opening up the world-building aspect of the story and leaving you wanting to explore more.
Giulia Lalli’s art definitely gives off a very “Disney” vibe, which gives the comic more accessibility.
Character outfits are great, clothes really help create a sense of character. You can tell Lalli takes great pleasure in costume design.
Expressions are effective and pair with the dialogue well.
Kaytee Brown’s colour palettes are vibrant and warm, again leaning toward younger readers. But the colour/art combo is sublime here. Costumes, the sky, fire, and the rare flashes of magic really come alive with colour.
Matias Zanetti’s speech bubbles are all perfectly placed, not once was my reading stalled by a wayward tail or ambiguous speech bubble placement.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Because the art does have a degree of Disneyfication about it, this lessens the impact of violence in the story. As stated, there is a village raid and many of the characters are proficient in combat, meaning fights are inevitable.
The narrative is so eager to get on with the story that there is little world-building. And I love world-building so I always want a bit more when things like “The Academy”, or the fact ghosts are just kicking about at one point.
The overall story doesn’t really bring anything new to the fantasy genre. Ruination takes a lot of standard fantasy notions and reworks them into a narrative. Nothing wrong with that, but if you are looking for something that breaks new ground, look elsewhere.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Ruination didn’t break new ground with its debut issue, but it began laying the foundations to build something bigger in future issues. It holds within its pages everything that makes us return to fantasy again and again: magic, action, relationships, shifting politics, and of course the possibility of Dragons. These elements will have fans of the genre nodding satisfactorily by the closing page.
The action is dynamic, the characters feel tangible, the story is familiar which will draw in newcomers and satiate veteran readers. Only those who abhor the traditional forms of fantasy will dislike this.
As for everyone else?
A new adventure awaits.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Support it on Kickstarter!
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 Ryan Bis and Curious Perspective Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Ryan Bis and Curious Perspective Comics or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED