Scales and Scoundrels

Scales and Scoundrels is a seemingly well known story retold to a modern audience. Luvander, the heroine of their comic is a penniless roamer, feisty and furious she is seeking out her fortune and suppressing her past. She gambles and steals to make her way through her medieval world, in search of treasures and adventure.

A story of rags to riches, stealing to feed oneself or act on one’s own altruism. From Aladdin to Robin Hood, to even more modern comic book characters like Catwoman, the theme is a recurring one and as is the fashion at the moment, this one features a fiery woman playing the homeless thief.

Despite the story ringing familiar it is clear from the start that the tales Girner, Galaad and Powell are going to portray will be fresh and exciting. The first issue starts with her engaging in a bar fight and ends with scuffle for morality in a reminiscent Sherwood Forest setting. When writing familiar themes and repeating aspects of folklore it can be easy to mimic or replicate instead of producing an original tale, however I believe Girner has tackled the task with class and style. Even with a perceived homage to Aladdin with the child beggar panel and the apple thievery.

From the first issue it looks as though this comic is set to be perfect for the younger reader, my own children of 4 and 6 are already eager to read more. Even though it looks set to have its darker moments, the happy go lucky style of Galaad leaves me believing that even if those moments are particularly gloomy the artwork will shine through it and ease the particularly young audience. Girner and Galaad compliment each other well. The ink wash and sketched line work remind me more of a children’s book than a comic, and though the literature is slightly more complex for smaller children it is a good opportunity to explain and discuss more difficult terms. The children are on the edge of their seats waiting to discover Luvander’s secrets and learn more about the mysterious adventure the Prince has invited her on.

I am thoroughly impressed with the look and feel of the comic and where it borders on the line between a story book and a comic, with such lush and in depth illustrations it certainly gives the impression of well rounded piece of work and not just one part of it. Galaad’s settings and landscapes are incredibly detailed and complex and wonderful to admire. I cannot wait to find out what the next artistic task Girner has set for them!StarRating8