Sunday, December 13, 2015

Lady Skylark and the Queen's Treasure, Act Two

I picked this one up at last summer's MASSive Comic Con in Worcester, MA.

Title: Lady Skylark and the Queen's Treasure
Volume: Act Two
Publisher: Kay and P Comics
Date: 2015
Writer: Christopher Parent
Artist: Jackie Musto

This is the second collection from the webomic by writer Christopher Parent and artist Jackie Musto.
Lady Skylark has been rescued after being tossed off of her ship by a mutinous crew. She's a passenger aboard the Lady Abbess now, but not an entirely welcome one. And Skylark isn't content to be at the mercy of her rescuers. She has plans for revenge, and those plans need her to be the one in command of a ship.

This volume did a great job of bringing our Lady Skylark's cunning and ambition as she plots and manipulates her way toward her goals. It all builds toward some fun mayhem involving a sky kraken.

There was also some good character development and worldbuilding, especially in a nicely-done scene where Skylark gets to know the crew of the Lady Abbess.

Bonus section at the end describes the process of designing the sky kraken.

This was a lot of fun and felt more tightly focused than the first volume.

Rating: 8/10

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tales from the Jatakas 3-in-1

A graphic novel from India that I bought at Mumbai Airport.

Title: Tales from the Jatakas 3-in-1
Publisher: Amar Chitra Katha Pvt Ltd
Date: 2014
Writer: Lakshmi Lal, Meena Talim
Artist: Ashok Dongre, Jeffrey Fowler
Editor: Anant Pai
Cover: C.M. Vitankar

This is an English-language graphic novel that I picked up during a layover at the airport in Mumbai, India. It is a collection of animal stories from the Jatakas, traditional Indian tales dating to the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD.

The collection is divided into three sections: Elephant Stories, Monkey Stories, and Deer Stories. The stories themselves are reminiscent of Aesop's Fables, often containing a simple moral lesson, favoring mercy or against greed, for instance.

The stories range from very silly humor pieces to tragedies involving animals sacrificing their own lives to save their herd or troop. There is also one particularly gruesome revenge story (the details of the revenge is horrific, but the art is not excessively gory).

The artwork has a cartoony look to it reminding me a bit of early Looney Tunes, with the deer tending to be anthropomorphized.

While the stories were fairly simplistic, this was an interesting bit of insight into India's traditional folklore, as well as its current comics.

Rating: 6/10