Written by: Sebastian Girner
Art by: Galaad
Colours by: Galaad
Letters by: Jeff Powell
Cover by: Galaad
Published by: Image Comics
After the first page of this issue, I’m already convinced that I want to spend more time in this world. We start at a pub in a fantasy world. Nothing uncommon here. There’s also a bar fight that we’ve seen a million time before. The difference is the art by Galaad. It is simply fun, light and charming and compliments the whimsical story by Sebastian Girner perfectly. Fantasy seems to have become bogged down recently by excessive world building and grimdark storylines. Scales and Scoundrels clearly wears its influences on its sleeve, but does it with such fun and colour that it becomes its own entity entirely.
The lead character is a penniless adventurer called Luvander who is searching for gold and glory. It’s odd for an all ages story to focus on this aspect rather than humbleness but at the minute I’m digging it – it leaves room for character development in either direction and that’s absolutely fine by me. As I’ve already mentioned, we start this story with a bar fight that ends with an all-consuming fire that Luvander walks out of. I’m intrigued as to how this develops as the story progresses, especially after the final page.
The rest of the story is Luvander beginning her quest, making acquaintances but never losing site of what she wants. This is the story of an imperfect girl who is perfectly content with who she is, unburdened by family labels and class hierarchy. One who knows what she wants but may alter how she achieve it in the issues to come.
The art by Galaad focuses as much on background as it does to what’s going on in the panel. This greatly adds to the world building and allows the story to become more immersive. Based on looks alone this book seems like it would be perfect at Boom! Studios but it’s great that Image is once again diversifying its creative teams and publishing a book with such charm as this.
My only slight worry with the book is that it reads very quickly. I’m aware that an all ages book can’t be bogged down in exposition and this book flows really well – perhaps too well. I found myself having to go back to the start and read the story again to make sure I understood what was going on rather than wanting to go back to the start to pick up on information I’d missed the first time. Again though, it’s an all ages book and so it must balance a very fine line and Girner does this admirably.
An excellent start to an exciting new series. Girner and Galaad have a brought the fun back to fantasy.
Available on September 6th 2017.