Thursday, June 08, 2006

Artesia interview

If you like quality fantasy and you can stand comics at all, you really need to read Mark Smylie's Artesia series. In lieu of coming up with new words to describe it, I'll just quote from and link to a review I did of the first volume: "Complicated but not inaccessible, Artesia is a story with several layers to it and it's wonderful going through it and discovering things hidden behind other things. It's beautiful to look at too. Smylie's art is as colorful and striking as his protagonist. He has an excellent sense of anatomy and making people look like people rather than comic book clichés. His style contributes a sense of realism that elevates Artesia above other fantasy material and gives it a mythic quality. If not actual events, Artesia at least reads and feels like actual legends.

"It's a book that haunts when you're done. You'll want to go back and read it again, not because you didn't get it, but because you want to spend more time with it, soaking in the art and getting to know the enigmatic main character better."

There are three graphic novels (Artesia, Artesia Afield, and Artesia Afire), and the first issue of what will eventually be collected into the fourth graphic novel Artesia Besieged just hit comics shops last week. Mark has also written his very own role-playing game based on the world of Artesia.

Aaaaand I tell you all that to tell you that I just interviewed Mark at Comic World News and that you should really go read it because he's a fascinating creative mind and one of the best fantasy writers/illustrators around.

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