Review by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong
Double Feature has made its way down the batting order once with this the final genre of fantasy and hands down, it is our favorite Double Feature to date. The first will have you laughing at the very fabric of fantasy with its slightly hipster/slacker take on medieval sense and sensibility. The second is that of a tragic fantasy tale whose main character is not a person but more of a… thing. There is only one way to truly describe our feelings on Fantasy Double Feature and it’s that this comic belongs on the side of a van on its way to a Rush concert.
EDRIK THE LAZY
by Lee Bretscheider and Justin Peterson
“The Frostwood is a place of unimaginable danger… Plus, it’s like, really, really cold.”
As the title implies, Edrik is not what one might call a go-getter or a getter for that matter. Edrik begins with a tried and true trope of a quest, except that he decides not to go. To set the stage, Edrik finds himself in the middle of the Frostwoods and as the name suggests, its cold, very cold. He sits waiting for guidance but really he’s just lazy. Finally, a voice beckons to him, the voice of Quar Qurren the Everseer, a being of pure magical energy. Edrik is so not impressed, but is rather very annoyed with Quar and the cryptic nature of his current situation. As for the quest, Edrik is to retrieve both spider silk and pelts for his father but for no known reason. Of course, Edrik being the lazy, starts to question the point of the quest and that is where the real story starts; he must find his way home. In true slack fashion, Edrik finds a Giant Snow Sloth and catches a slow ride home.
Eight pages of pure fun and comedy ask the question, “What if the hero does not go on the quest?” Bretscheider is crafting a fun take on fantasy and we can’t wait to see what happens when Edrik sees action for the first time. He is able to capture wittiness in the banter between Edrik and Quar with his comments of being annoyed as well as in the question, “Which cave? The Frostwoods have lots of caves” when Quar beckons him.
Capturing emotions is a tough accomplishment for an artistic talent but being able do it in eight pages is an art form unto itself. Peterson not only does that but is able to portray the slackerishness of Edrik too. The character designs are spot-on as well and very stylized, straddling both a modern sensibility without taking itself out of the fantasy genre. To put it into perspective, Edrik looks like he could be the frontman of a post-punk band just as much as he could be a man on an epic quest.
THE CURSED BLADE
by Marshall Dillon and Matt Cossin
“’Be careful what you wish for.’ That’s the moral of this beautiful, but creepy, fantasy tale. That, and “Beware undead skeletons bearing gifts.”
Playing guns or swords is part of being a boy as if its part of our make up, something buried deep within the very fabric of the Y chromosome. In the case of The Cursed Blade, it’s bad if you have a Y chromosome. The opening of the story finds two boys playing swords when they come across the skeletal remains of a warrior with a red blade sticking out of it. One of the kids pulls the sword out and what happens next, will leave the boy and all he comes into contact with forever changed. The sword is cursed by a demon that hungers for human souls and where the blade goes, it leaves dead bodies in its wake. The story takes a real twist with a shocking ending and as eluded to in the opening introduction, the real main character of this story is the Cursed Blade.
Dillon is showing his chops on this story. To date, what we know of Dillon is his lettering work and his appearances on the Crankcast (and he makes trunk wine; see Crankcast for reference), so it is refreshing to see him stretch his creative wings. The story starts off by making you think that one of the boys will be the main character, but Dillon quickly detours and ends on a different note. In eight pages, he sets up the rules of the Cursed Blade by actually telling a story instead of providing an info dump that many writers use to get their ideas across.
Cossin’s style is a blend of classic comic styling and cartooning. He weaves in and out of his styles effortlessly; leaning on the cartooning side to show the children’s innocence and the classic side to express the dire situation that the one boy finds himself in.
Grab your headphones, roll your twenty-sided dice, crank the ‘Immigrant’ song and download Fantasy Double Feature!!!!!
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