September 26, 2012

Review: Knightingail

I came across Knightingail by Wayne Gardiner at WonderCon earlier this year (yes, sometimes it does take me that long to get around to reading and writing about comics I pick up), and it's one of those comics that catches your eye immediately. I'd spotted it as I walked down the aisles of small press on the first day and made a note to come back - then the next day I saw a cosplayer with a fantastic costume near the same aisle. It turns out she was dressed up as the main character from the series. I immediately walked over to check it out.

The main character is a female who can kick butt when she needs to, the story takes place in a fantasy setting, and the art and colors are beautiful. How could I not check it out? It's also all ages and an adventure.

In broad strokes, the story follows the path of Eloa as she learns about her family's past and becomes Knightingail. She has a close friend named Kaeli, and their relationship reminds me of the one between Xena and Gabrielle. Together, they travel and discover who they really are. Their strength, battle skills, and friendship is put to the test.

I've read up to issue 6 (that's all of the story for now) and I've enjoyed it so far. It's easy to read and flow from one issue to the next. It manages to cover a lot of ground but also to leave a lot of room for more story in the future. It sets up a vast world full of creatures and problems and a rich history. Seriously, A+ on world building. The art really compliments Gardiner's writing, too. It matches the tone of the storytelling and is really just lovely.

I only have two nitpicks with the story. Why is Knightingail wearing high heeled boots? She's running around the forest, give her practical footwear! Some of her language occasionally takes me out of the story, too. She'll say something like "nopers," and though it fits with her spunky personality, it doesn't mesh with the setting. Still, those are very minor notes in a fun series that I would truly recommend for all ages - particularly young girls.

To learn more about the series and purchase issues, visit the Knightingail website.


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