Come the 20th of November Improper Books will launch, another silent comic, Knight and Dragon. While it is different, both in terms of the book’s overall tone and the style, from Porcelain A Gothic Fairy Tale and Butterfly Gate, it’s no less entertaining, though it’s more family friendly than the aforementioned comics. The authors will make you work for getting to the end of the story, however, so be prepared to put in just a slight amount of effort when you pick it up.
The people behind this comic are Matt Gibbs (writer), Bevis Musson (illustrator) and Nathan Ahsworth (colourist), who each bring a personal touch to the classic story of the dashing knight, struggling to save an innocent village (with the promise of the “helpless” maiden’s hand in marriage) from the vicious, cruel dragon. As it’s the case with other Improper Books comics, the story is going to take you on unexpected twists and turns, forcing you to stay on your toes at all times. Here is a short description, from the mouth of God:
[quote]Each narrative begins the same, with a beleaguered Knight riding his Horse into a seemingly deserted village, where the majority of the Villagers mistake him for a heroic warrior. Distracted by the beauty of the Maiden, before he really knows what he’s doing, the Knight agrees to fight a Dragon and, much to the Maiden’s evident dismay, the Village Chief offers the Knight her hand in marriage should he succeed. Learning too late from the Villagers that the Dragon is both huge and ferocious, the despondent Knight heads out to meet his fate, and at this point the stories begin to diverge…[/quote]
Remember how I said there is a bit of work involved in properly following the story? Knight and Dragon offers us the choice of one path or another. Each of its paths focuses on a different character and to follow said character’s story within the story, we have to follow that character’s colour, listed at the start of the book. It might sound like it’s complicated, but let me assure you, it’s not the case. It also gives each of us the possibility of choosing from the various endings, depending on the character we chose to focus on: The Knight, The Maiden, The Horse and so on (I really love that horse, who just happens to be the voice of reason among severely unreasonable characters and who really deserved more of a central role to the story).
I mentioned already the comic is silent, which means Bevis Musson had his work cut out for him in making each character different and unique, in order to convey as much as possible through their facial expressions. We do get some helpful thought bubbles, to make us understand the story a little better, so don’t let the lack of words deter you from a great story. Once you get started and immerse yourself in the story, you won’t even notice they aren’t there.
While it seems aimed at a younger audience, it will still keep everyone that picks it up entertained, with a story that’s both funny and intriguing, even if its focus is on the more light-hearted aspects of such a tale, rather than becoming a gore fest, just for the sake of it. All in all? Full marks from me, be sure to pick it up, read it and come back to tell us if you have enjoyed it.