Action Lab Entertainment 2016
Written & Lettered by Gary Turner
Illustrated by Mel Bontrager
Coloured by Eddy-Swan
A Daravon council convenes in a build up to all-out war with the Overq’sai. Skirnir attempts to show an alternative path, and ends up revealing more than he had bargained for. Now the battle is moved to a personal ground. What hope could an off-world boy like Kai make?
I don’t think we give enough credit or attention to the all-ages books that out on stands these days. As we grow up people say Oh I’ve outgrown those books they’re for kids. Well guess what they might be aimed towards them but adults should be reading them as well. They are highly entertaining, more sophisticated than they realise and have lessons that many a grown-up has forgotten and should relearn. This is one of the reasons i’m enjoying this series.
This issue focuses on Skirnir in a way that is wonderful to see. King Baudric’s opinion of his old friend and advisor is on full display as is Skirnir’s beliefs in finding a peaceful solution to any problem. I like the contrast here however and when one believes as firmly as Skirnir does it can not only be used against him but he can also be used as a pawn when the other party isn’t dealing on good faith like he is.
Can there be peace through war? Are there events that will transpire that make you abandon everything you believe in? Or can even through some dark and rough times can you still hold onto that which you believe and keep your mind and soul intact? It’s pretty heady stuff actually and from what Gary does here with this story he presents us with all the angles and leaves us without an answer, at least in Skirnir’s case. For each person reading the story you’ll take away different aspects of what you see and apply them to yourself. Are your bonds of friendship strong enough to weather the difference of opinion and way of doing things? Are you a hypocrite and adopt that which you proclaim to believe in order to win at any cost?
This is an all-ages book mind you and by letting the young and old see what it means to stick to your guns and practise what you preach at it’s finest is not small feat. it’s excellently told and while we all have those parts of our past we regret and will do things as life moves forward that we wish we hadn’t in the end ultimately it’s our actions upon which we’ll be judged and live or die by the sword being true to oneself is the greatest deed one can do.
I love the all-ages interiors here too. Just enough cartoon style to keep it light and airy while still maintaining that attention to detail and showing menace to keep us on the edge. The use of page layouts through angles and perspective are extremely well done. And facial expressions and body language speak volumes here to really enhance the feelings and emotions of the characters.
All this thought provoking stuff from an all-ages comic, who says kids aren’t learning and that this medium can’t be both educational and interesting at the same time. Action Lab has a knack for finding the creators that can entertain with unique stories while still making you think whether out loud or to yourself about how you live your life.