Review: Artos Issue Three

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Review by David Ferguson

Art by Jason Browne
Plot by Jason Browne and Mike Lynch
Written by Aaron Fever
Lettering by Phil Roe

There are a couple of things I want to get to before I even get to this issue. A couple of months ago, I decided to revisit The Wren (via Wren Volume One and Volume Two) and it really showed me how much Jason Browne has improved over the years. That and the sketch covers he has been doing lately (I’ll own up that I have one in my possession but I really love it so I don’t think that should count against my opinion). He really has his own style down. Even characters outside his own are (insert character name) in Jason’s style. I also really like his character designs particularly Artos who is in simple terms a bear but really looks like more than that (the colouring on his eyes being a highlight for me). There is also the fact that he, albeit with the assistance of other writers and letterers, is producing issues of The Wren, Thimble and Artos on quite a regular schedule.

The other thing that strikes me about the series is the all-ages aspect. I think the book is a superhero book that happens to be all-ages as opposed to an all-ages superhero book. The book isn’t dumbed down and there are adult themes. It kind of reminds of early Spider-man with the happy-go-lucky hero who has a kind of tragic background.

Looking through the pages in this issue, you can’t really find fault with page layouts and the story really flows well. Including the speech bubble placement. There is no point where you stop yourself to figure where you are going to move next. Given that the issue sees the print debut of writer Aaron Fever, it is a very well put together book. The characters speak with the same voice and the story doesn’t show a jarring creative difference which is a compliment to the entire team. This issue is part three of War of the Fál and our heroes (The Wren and Artos) continue to look for magical items to try and stop the bad guys. Without spoiling too much, the story broadens a bit to include more of the inhabitants of Hibernia. The only addition I would make, possibly, would be a “previously in” intro but, then again, the issue manages to catch the reader up pretty quickly (happily in a natural sounding “show” not “tell” conversation between the two main protagonists). Another solid issue. Looking forward to more in 2016.

Artos issue three can be found at Forbidden Planet Dublin and New York, Little island Comics Toronto, Gosh Comics London, Orbital comics London and Hodges Figgis Dublin. You can also contact Jason and get it in the post (via Paypal)