I use a lot of different terms when reviewing books. Solid, interesting, well plotted, well written. Kings and Canvas gets a word I rarely use. This book is fantastic!
The third issue comes out on January 13th so I’m a little behind on the series but let me assure you the #0 issue has some of the best story telling I’ve read in ages. Using two distinct plots, told simultaneously, to tell different yet complimentary stories, and writer Neil Kleid does it beautifully. In issue 0 we meet Mammoth, an exiled boxer, who’s been in a work camp prison for nearly 10 years. We join him and his fellow inmates as they attempt to dig for steel to support their country’s war effort. It’s a harsh life made worse by horribly abusive guards and totally inhuman working conditions. When circumstances drive Mammoth to the breaking point he turns everything on it’s ear and decides to escape.
When we rejoin Mammoth in issue #1 he’s on his journey and we only now begin to realize there’s a definite purpose and destination in mind. Again Neil vjksdaks’s writing shines with every step forward in plot. We are traveling along with a fully realized character, not a two-dimensional super hero. And in this issue Neil adds to the cast and by doing so shows us even more layers to our hero.
Kings and Canvas takes place in what I’m assuming is a post magical apocalypse Earth. The maps and names used are definitely warped versions of our own but seeing dwarfs, dragons, and talk of magic makes me think it’s either parallel or a future (or far past) version of our world. Now I’m usually a sucker for sci-fi and fantasy comics but lately no new ones have caught my eye. In fact when a friend said I should take a look at this I was skeptical. But I know he’s a man of good judgement and refined taste so I took a chance. Damn glad I did.
This is a classic “hero’s tale” but Neil has taken us so far from any world we know the journey seems new and surprising. Couple that fresh angle with Jake Allen’s arresting art and Frank Reynoso’s muted and moody color palette and this book will be a hit. Monkeybrain made a great move publishing this series. I know you’ll agree. I’m jumping into issue #2 as soon as possible so I’m ready for issue #3 on Wednesday! I trust you’ll do the same.
Issues #0, #1, and #2 are available on comixology, at 99¢ per issue you get 77 pages of great story for less than what most big 2 books cost. Go spend $2.97 on some great comics!
Check out some pages from the #0 issue!