I was lucky enough to get my hands on NORD from Martin Simpson (aka SIMO) and his first solo project promises to merge his unique style with an epic tale of Vikings – that’s GOT to be worth a look.
That cover alone should be enough to entice you in it’s direction but behind that there’s the story of a Viking King that’s lost everything and with mythical Norse Gods soon in attendance there’s a definite hook that feels like a significant one. As things unfold we see the now recognizable names of Loki, Odin, Hel and more slide into proceedings and as their influence grows the King’s fate becomes a bit more of a mystery that only helps fuel the intrigue in what Martin is creating.
The momentum and stakes increases as things progress too and that proves to be just as powerful a mix as Martin’s writing and art. A single person creating everything to do with a comic book or graphic novel can be a precarious one to balance out but there are rare occasions where the story and visuals go toe-to-toe and match each other at every step and NORD feels like it’s one of those projects.
Myth & mystery are given the weight of a world packed with legendary characters which helps hammer home a distinct world for Kings & Gods to exist in but backing that up is the type of artwork that glows with the life & magic it needs to. A gruelling journey for the King at the centre of this story leads to a battle for the ages and the air of uncertainty in just how things are going to go is key in making sure that the initial hook is still there by the time the final page comes around.
Martin has constructed a story that captures the glorious effect that mythical Gods have on the world they inhabit and as the possibilities blend the realms themselves in the best way imaginable, there’s still room for much much more. That’s promised and then delivered by gritty, fully-charged art that teases the senses and gives every page turn a wow-factor of it’s own that needs to be seen to be believed.
That helps make this a book to really get on-board with as the effort from Martin to create this is significant AND worthwhile. Those qualities are something that Soaring Penguin has obviously seen in picking this up to publish it through their new crowdfunding business model. The only initial concerns bubbling to the surface for me was how to justify a 78 page book being priced at the £25 mark but those have been surpassed by the sheer quality of the book itself. That’s a credit to Martin as he has poured so much effort into this that it’s a book I need in my collection and so do many others I’m sure.
You can get your hands on a copy through the campaign link below:
You can catchup with Martin & Soaring Penguin at the links below too:
Simo – Twitter, Website, Instagram, Etsy Store
Soaring Penguin – Twitter, Website