Every now and again I seem to stumble across a Kickstarter campaign that I love the look of without knowing much about it and while they mainly turn out to be good there’s a select few that prove to be much more of a revelation.
Skies of Fire from Mythopoeia was just such a project and their Kickstarter earlier this year gave backers the opportunity to catch-up on all three issues released so far.
Writers Vincenzo Ferriero and Ray Chou bring us a world where gas-guzzling airships fill the skies of the fictional Aquilan Empire and the sky battles bring with it a mix of war-time adventure and vengeful thriller following the latest attack aimed firmly at the Empire itself. It’s got a Navy vs pirates vibe to it as notorious raider Delmonte and his forces attack then retreat into the unstable sanctity of never-ending storm The Expanse.
His latest raid on a key trading port is the last straw for the powers that be as King Percival orders an immediate pursuit of Delmonte into the storm itself. Cue a new crew being needed to tackle the job and members of the military are soon rubbing shoulders with the pirates & smugglers that know ships and the storm like the back of their hand. It’s a highly charged affair as tensions build throughout both halves of a new crew that’s far from the usual who’s who from the army’s elite. That works in it’s favour though and over the course of the three issues the back n forth between the newly formed crew and those in charge gives an interesting team dynamic that’s bubbling under the surface.
Ferriero and Chou’s story grabs your attention from the beginning and as soon as the action explodes across the page and the adventure begins to unfold you don’t really want it to end. That boundless energy is then captured by art with amazin detail and sense of scale from Pablo Peppino with the addition of colours from Bryan Valenza and letters by Nic J Shaw to enhance the world further. The fact that it’s an outsize book (A4) makes the scale all the more apparent and gives you the chance to really soak in the detail that the creative team have expertly laid out across the pages.
I could tell you this was a good book but that would sell it way too short……..this is a GREAT book and when it comes from a chance discovery through Kickstarter it makes it all the more rewarding as a reader. Great plot with a solid pace, brilliant characters that straddle the good/bad divide and art with an epic scale means this is a winner on all fronts. This leaves Skies of Fire nestled in the hidden gem category that indie/small press books seem to reside in so often but this happens to be one of the BEST examples of that that I’ve read in some time. Go get this….it’s a no-brainer!