Thursday, February 25, 2016

Crogan's Vengeance

There are some comics series that I am embarrassed to say that I have not read, because I just keep hearing about how great they are. Or I keep seeing them displayed at the artist's table at HeroesCon, but don't do pick them up. Chris Schweizer's The Crogan Adventures is one of those. It has been nominated for two Eisner Awards and it chronicles the adventures of various members of the fictional Crogan family tree, an interesting and varied group that includes cowboys, explorers, adventurers, scalawags, legionnaires, and ninja. This first book (out of a proposed 16!) focuses on the clever and resourceful Catfoot Crogan, a sailor turned pirate who lived in the 1700s.

As you can see from the excerpt below, the story is couched in real historical terms. I very much enjoyed seeing the amount of detail that went into depicting what life at sea would have been like at the time. I also appreciated how these details helped later propel the narrative.
After the scene and characters are quickly established, the book takes off into high gear. There are rumblings of mutiny, cruel captains, and pirate attacks, not to mention scheming, double-crossings, and sword-fights galore. This was the best kind of adventure tale, full of suspense, drama, and characters I cared about. And even though there are times that Catfoot is worse for wear, reading about how he dealt with his travails was a lot of fun.

As you have probably noticed from the artwork, it is pretty cartoonish. Even so, the attention to backgrounds, the ships, and the period garb are all on point, highlighting the expressive art style. Schweizer's storytelling and layouts are both expert and exceptional.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been glowing. Don MacPherson wrote that it "stands up well as a self-contained, one-off story." Snow Wildsmith concluded, "Because of the well-crafted plot, strong writing and distinctive art, Schweizer’s series is off to a great start and should prove popular with teen and adult graphic novel fans."  Andrew Wheeler summed up that it was "a somewhat sanitized pirate story, but what popular pirate stories aren’t? It’s full of men swooping down from the crow’s nest, cannons roaring across narrow stretches of water, desperate hand-to-hand fights with pistol and cutlass, and men wearing earrings, bandannas, and strange hats. What’s not to love?"

Crogan's Vengeance was published by Oni Press, and they have more info about it here.

No comments:

Post a Comment