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kings leapWritten by Rob Jones

Art and Additional dialogue by Gareth Sleightholme

Published by Madius



The Vikings are telling stories. Or rather, listening to stories. Gathered around Amma, the old woman who always seems to know what to say, the Viking children listen to the story of King Gulbrand. His lands ravaged by plague, Gulbrand and his best warriors set off to find the cause. When they did, the trouble really started

Jones’ script has a really smart, light on its feet approach to the subject matter. The framing mechanism is cute and elegant but never gets in the way and there’s a smart gear shift between the language of the story and the language of the framing scenes. It’s classic heroic stuff and he clearly has a ton of fun getting all Robert E. Howard from time to time.

Sleightholme, who judging by the afterword from him is a newcomer to comics, is one Hell of a fun. There’s some really fun, scratchy, grimy art here that looks like Terry Gilliam’s lost version of Saving Private Ryan. The world feels lived in and real and the characters are far more than the stewreotypes they could so easily have been. That pragmatic approach also ramps the threat up, especially in the final pages.

And those final pages are what you’re going to remember. No spoilers but the art and the script funnel down into a constantly shrinking field of view that tells you everything you need to know and nothing you want to hear. Hugely clever, very nasty and one of the best comics you’ll pick up at Thought Bubble.

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