IDW Publishing 2020
Written by David M. Booher
Illustrated by Drew Zucker
Coloured by Vittorio Astone
Lettered by Deron Bennett
CANTO’S SAGA CONTINUES…..
Freed from the Shrouded Man’s captivity, Canto leads his people on an exodus away from Arcana and toward their lost homeland. On the way, Canto and his Malorex enjoy a day of fun. When their games take them into the clutches of a dangerous new threat, can they liberate a gentle race of fairies without losing their new freedom in the process?
There really is a reason that this is so beloved. Canto is one of those rare beings who comes along at just the right time who’s message of love, hope and compassion is needed more than anyone realises. He is David and the world around him is his Goliath but as The Beatles sang, I get by with a little help from my friends & friends are all you need. So I adore that we have this one shot that bridges the gap between the first and second arc. The way that the boys and IDW are doing this is phenomenal in that they are allowing for this kind of freedom in the way it is being told. Arc runs are a great way to put out a book that isn’t monthly and yet has all these plans for adventure with the character.
I adore the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is not only presented perfectly but I am loving how it all moves everything forward. The character development is phenomenal to see. Canto keeps growing and changing into such a fine leader among his people and that he still seems to somehow retain that innocence and naivete while facing the circumstances and situations he finds himself in is beyond anything we have the right to expect. The pacing here is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists and turns along the way we see how everything works together to create the books ebb & flow.
Aside from the fact they have created this character, this world and those who inhabit it with such perfection the way the book has been layered within the story is sensational. That we find ourselves connecting with and finding a place in our hearts for Canto remains to be one of the most exceptional things happening. I’d like to see a homage to that Robin cover with the Sensational Character Find of… and yes Reading With a Flight Ring will support/fund the creation of that variant cover.
The interiors here are phenomenal as well. The creativity and imagination we see within these pages is mindbogglingly well rendered. The linework is exquisite and how the varying weights are being utilised alongside some really nice techniques really showcases the lovely detail work we see. How backgrounds are being utilised to not only enhance the moments but to bring us some wonderful depth perception, this sense of scale and that overall sense of size and scope to the book. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a marvellously talented eye for storytelling. I think the colour work here is divine. How we see various techniques in application to show this really creative utilisation of the hues and tones within any given colour to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show more than some impressive talent.
That this is a one-shot to fill in some blanks between arcs 1 & 2 is something that I wouldn’t have expected to see. So that fact alone is something to pay attention to. Also that fans cannot get enough of Canto doesn’t hurt either. This is perfect for those of you who haven’t read the first arc yet as it works as much as a stand alone story as it does keeping older fans in the loop. Smartly written with intelligent characterisation and a real showcase of talent all around this is what everyone should be reading.