ATOMIC
EMPIRE

Comics: Some assembly required

by Dee. 2/17/2016
Welcome all:
Today we'll be looking at two previews sent to me here, and they are both quite interesting. Enjoy!

Aether and Empire (Blue Juice Comics): This is a very proper sailing story, with the emphasis on airships more than naval ones. The formality of the crew's ranking enhances the historical feel of the comic, while the airship itself is fantastical. The level of detail in the technology and the overall art style reveals this as a military-focused Victorian tale, with some political machinations underlying the surface. The colors are more realistically muted, with many grays, brass and wood tones.

The first issue gives only a small corner of the larger story which has to do with a missing scientific expedition to Mars, and the potential rescue by Her Majesty's Navy. This story is much larger than it initially seems.

Starts April 13.

Another Castle (Oni Press): This is not the Mario Brothers knockoff comic that you are looking for. In fact, this story is about a princess that isn't satisfied with being royalty; she wants to fight for her kingdom. There is an evil ruler in the neighboring kingdom, and naturally he wants our heroine Artemisia (or Misty for short) as his bride. The magic sword she wields shouldn't fall into the immortal villain's hands (which could single-handedly decapitate and kill him), as then he would surely destroy everything. So when she's ambushed, she sends the sword to her kingdom and is taken to the villain's castle. As an interesting twist, she rips up her intended wedding dress, and converts it to combat effective escape gear. After learning more about her mother's fate, she vows to take down her adversary from within his own castle, rather than escaping.

This is a beautiful comic, with an "alternative Disney meets anime" look to it, by which I mean that it is a bit edgier than Disney ever was with its princesses. The story is interesting enough that I would pick up the second issue, as our heroine is a sympathetic character. The colors are well done, highly saturated and bright, with a magenta-pink undertone. The creative team behind this is Paulina Ganucheau (artist, Zodiac Starforce) and Andrew Wheeler, writer. Though this is Wheeler's first foray into comics, his journalism background gives the dialogue impact and focus without seeming forced or overly contrived.

Starts March 2.

That's all, folks!
Dee

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