Written by: Mike Sambrook @Rapiaghi
& Rob Jones @Robjoneswrites
Art by: Gustavo Vargas @GustaffoVargas
Published by: Madius Comics: @Madiuscomics
“Blasting out of the minds of writers Michael Sambrook and Rob Jones and the absurdly talented art tendrils of Gustavo Vargas is a brand new fantasy adventure about myths, dragons, fisticuffs and tales of derring-do.
If you feel the ground rumbling, she will be there. She is always there. She will protect us. Arm yourselves, form a huddle, and most of all, stay safe.
THEY ARE COMING!”
Despite being a massive fan of the genre generally, I’m not a huge fan of fantasy comics. It’s exceptionally hard to establish a whole ton of characters, show the lore, build a world and have something meaningful actually happen in 22 odd pages. Also writers tend to go a bit native with speech patterns in fantasy books…
” FORSOOTH VARLET I SHALL STRIKE THEE DOWN HENCEFORTH, HEY NONNY NONNY”
Of course I exaggerate but not by much. Ye Olde English gets bandied about way too much in this type of book.
So with my natural bias against fantasy comics Madius had their work cut out for them to impress me with this.
“HEY NONNY NONNY FORSOOTH THEY SLAYEDETH”
The Frodo & Bilbo of the Madius world ( I’m not telling you which is which ) Mike Sambrook & Rob Jones in only THIRTEEN pages manage to establish a kickass heroine with a history and that all important nerd satisfying background lore, an enemy, multiple fight scenes & a great twist at the end to leave the door wide open for more adventures from this stand alone one shot. Great dialogue, great jokes and the name of the tavern “Horatio’s Hole” made me laugh way more than it should. They have squeezed so much into this book without overdoing it.
This is the first artwork I’ve seen from Gustavo Vargas. On his behalf I’d like to throw a chair at Sambrook & Jones. The stuff they have fired at this poor guy to draw in here is a disgrace.
“Hi Gustavo, we’d like this dual page to have multiple dragons flying out of a massive hole in a ground into a bar full of people. That cool? Thanks.”
The only way this could have been made more difficult for an artist is if they asked him to stick the dragons on horses.
You know what though? Vargas takes the ball and runs with it. Take the “Dragons” for example. His designs for these creatures are totally original and they are exceptional. Same goes for our heroine Gytha. Really top notch character design work.
Delicious, thick black inking of shadows makes the art really pop off the page. Exceptional panel layouts and design especially in the fight scenes, giving such a sensation of speed and movement.
The lettering in this book is exactly what I want from comic lettering – clear uncluttered readability. I just know Rob Jones was sitting over his desk absolutely salivating at the mouth to stick in a medieval font here but he restrained himself and the book is all the better for it.
Sambrook, Jones & Vargas are really onto something with this book. They have created a lead character that I can’t wait to see more of, in an excellent, action packed, value for money one shot.
Cicadian Rhythms is being launched at the 2018 Thoughtbubble convention and will be available to buy online in due course.