Writer/Artist/Creator: Shon C. Bury
Publisher: Narwain Publishing
Ever make up a story about your life and your job where there was a terrible danger, and only your “specific” knowledge and/or abilities could save the day? Like terrorists were communicating via secret code and only you could crack it? Or an ancient secret was hidden in the pottery you just learned about in an adult learning annex class?
Apparently, Shon C. Bury has been studying the relationships between mythology and DNA. The hero of his story is writing a thesis about it. He’s also been having dreams of a goddess-like character he’s named “Celestia.” (Real original.) One night, he gets a package with a rod, an amulet, and a journal written by someone with the same initials as he: JRK. (By the way, aspiring writers everywhere: don’t give your heroes initials that spell out “jerk”.) The rod comes in handy when shadow demons attack him. The large man dressed as a nun provides little help and fewer answers.
So we’ve got a mystery, some religious allegory, and a fat sidekick. Big deal. It’s nothing we haven’t seen a thousands times before. I’m betting “JRK” has some destiny to fulfill because his ancestor, also called JRK, was part of an ancient war between good and evil, and “Celestia” is the woman/goddess he must protect. Maybe I’m jaded, but setting aside the familiar story elements, we get no new interpretations. Bury bravely opens the comic in a coffee shop with three grad students. I wouldn’t spend 5 minutes with these people in real life, let alone 5 pages! And they don’t do anything other than get the fat guy into JRK’s apartment. Which takes up another 5 pages. Most of this book is spent on the characters bickering and swearing at each other. I’m no prude, but I do ask myself, “Would the story be affected if it toned down the language/violence/sex?” In this case, the answer is “No.” Not a good thing.
I will say Bury is a technically competent artist. The comic looks stiff, dull, and visually bland, but at least it’s not ugly. And you can tell what’s going on from one panel to the next. Good for storyboarding, not so good for storytelling.
Unless Bury gets more creative, or teams up with a better writer, I would not recommend this comic to anyone. Sorry Shon. Keep working on that PhD.
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