Matt Lesniewski recently released the first issue of his new four-part series Antique and that cover became an instant selling point for me.
The story begins with a fairly bleak opening as village life for Elmira is much like everyone else – a struggle for survival. As she eats the last of her food she’s forced into considering the sale of the only thing of worth she has left with the sword & family heirloom passed down from her grandfather. Elmira’s shady past still haunts her and with the village labelled “City of Thieves” she’s remained because of the strong connection he has and this starts to come across more & more as she takes the plunge with the sale of the sword.
Selling a sword in a village of thieves is easy enough but the visit to Peter’s Pawn Shop sees a turn of events that alters Elmira’s course. A sale becomes a job proposition and now she’s on a quest of debt recovery that could see her retain her sword AND get paid….although an aging Elmira struggles to imagine what she might face and just how the hell she’s going to make it through. She IS a fast learner though and leaving the sanctity of the village soon sees the threat of an attack come her way but her “inner warrior” rears its head as the life or death aspect of the story moves up a gear. Cue the monsters!
Matt’s story doesn’t struggle too much with that bleak start and it soon gets on its feet as Elmira’s adventures begin and as he juggles writing, art & lettering it’s a very slick combo from him. Hard enough to do one thing well but to do as much as he does and get something like this together is no mean feat. The art reminds of Gabriel Rodríguez’s work in IDW’s Locke & Key and its intricate detail is allowed to shine through the control of the narrative/dialogue which doesn’t encroach on it at all. The only minor quibble I have is that it’s in black & white and I understand exactly why that’s the case but the cover colours from Jason Wordie would have been a great addition to the interiors. It would have added an extra layer of depth but that’s minor as I say because the overall story packs in a ton of potential which is more than enough for me to want to read the next three issues.
You can get hold of the issue over on Matt’s online store or you can read the first issue & check out Matt’s other work over on his website……I highly recommend you check out his other titles Arctic Hell & Alone Again.