SBI Press 2018
Created & Written by Chris Mancini
Illustrated by Fernando Pinto
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Decades ago, Jason saved the world of Elvenwood from the witch queen Nexis as the Child Knight. Today, he's an unhappy manager of a comics store where his disbelieving coworkers have to hear tales of Elvenwood over and over. When the denizens of Elvenwood return to seek Jason's help again, it turns out it's all true, but will Jason be the hero he once was? Or will he just make things worse because he grew up to be a complete jackass?
SBI Press really does have some of the most fun books that have and are coming out. I’d like to thank Brendan for sending the run to me it’s something I greatly appreciate. I like the way that this issue starts off, the opening is strong well written and has that distinct feeling of a dungeons & dragons style story. Or perhaps a take on the Shannara Chronicles which in this day and age would almost be more likely. Either way we enter in the middle of a battle, there is no explanation only the narrative of that which is happening. For me it’s great and it immediately piqued my curiosity and made me want to know more. I mean really you start at something that feels epic so naturally we’re going to want to know more.
I like the way that this is being told. We get to see Jason or as he was referred to, the Child Knight, as an adult who seemed to have lived a fantasy life. In all honesty it is as if he lived the life we all wanted as kids, taken off to a place and made into a hero, kind of like the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon only he went there all by himself. The how and why remain a mystery to us but the fact that we see him now recanting his exploits for those who work in the comic book store with him tell us a number of things. The characterisation here is exceptional as we get to know Jason, Phil and Marla and how they are friend but not friends and their how their whole dynamic seems to work. It doesn’t take long for Chris to map this out for us while still leaving room for growth.
Fernando has a very quirky kind of style that I would’ve said was very much more underground comix from back in the day. While he really does understand how to compose these panels for maximum impact and he isn’t afraid to utilise backgrounds the way they should be done. My biggest quibble is that we don’t see them all the time but hey they still enhance the moments and bring a size and scope to the story. The way we see the linework is almost on the simple side but it has a very now feel to the work he’s doing. Like it should fit right in with the new Cartoon Network style that seems to be all the rage. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a solid eye for storytelling. The colour work is nice and has this really good shading effect to it which utilises the light sources. I would like to see more colour gradation but that doesn’t necessarily fit this style of art.
The story & plot development that goes nicely with the pacing and the character development create a very nice ebb & flow for the book. There is a nice way of setting the stage and then getting right to heart of the matter and all the while you begin to wonder if Jason is just a man-child or if he’s simply wishing for a life that wasn’t the one he had. When the truth reveals itself and his co-workers come one step closer to learning the truth on their own is when we truly begin to see the potential being unleashed.
SBI does it again, this takes the dreams or the vivid imagination of a lonely child and makes them a reality no one was prepared to admit. How much fun is this going to be as we watch it all unfold?!?