Rating: 4/5 – Vikings Knew Dragons Were Bad News, Now We Learn First Hand.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
In this super-long premiere issue (55 pages for $3.99!) we get a story split between vikings in 1002 AD and present day Colorado. The extra length is used to give a great set-up for a series that could easily be a summer action movie, which I mean in a good way since I love watching those action flicks. The story and art combined here to make a comic I thoroughly enjoyed.
Judd Winick started with a 3 page “flash forward” of a scene from much later on in the story (I’m guessing chronologically something from at least the issue #3 timeframe) before jumping back in time to 1002 AD and showing the key setup for the whole thing with an 18 page sequence with the vikings. This could have been the entire 1st issue of a standard comic, but it was not even half of this issue. While I’m not the biggest fan of the flash forward beginning as a literary technique (it’s kind of a built in spoiler about where the story is going), it was really the only thing I didn’t like about the issue.
Geoff Shaw did a really nice job depicting the characters. The character designs and body language had a sense of life and fluidity. The faces had expressions and each character had their own unique feel, which is a good thing for a book where they’re not in costumes, the costume can often be used as a shorthand to distinguish characters in comics, when that’s not available as a design feature the artist has to work all the harder to make the characters stand on their own. And his dragon is cool! The backgrounds were sparse in a lot of panels, but were detailed in enough when the story shifted scenes to set the stage and keep the story flow moving for me. Winick added great dialogue that I thought flowed very naturally and kept the story moving, though I would have liked some some in-issue translation of the German language used (thank God for Google Translate).
A Town Called Dragon focuses on the inhabitants of the small town of Dragon, Colorado learning something that was all too apparent to the vikings in 1002AD. Dragons are pretty bad-ass and should be avoided (or killed) whenever possible! Well, our current day protagonists may not be able to side-step the dragon, but if they did we wouldn’t have much of a story. Winick and Shaw put together a stunning 55 page package here, one I heartily recommend you to look for at your local shop. I’m in for this series and am looking forward to #2.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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