This zero issue is the first release from McHozer Comics, a group of several long-time comics fans from the Toronto area. What’s cool about this comic, though, is that the creators don’t copy work they’ve seen before. Instead, what we get in Celtic Shaman #0 is a petty original comic.
Mannix Lachlan is a seemingly normal guy who has had a family inheritance forced upon him. Some families pass down money or houses; Mannix’s grandfather left him a leather satchel containing a beat-up book. Inside the book is a hot (and pretty much naked) mystical creature called Druantia who helps Mannix embrace his destiny. But Mannix and Dru don’t really get along together; our hero tends to ignore her advice rather than listen to it. Based on this zero issue, much of Mannix’s destiny seems to happen in quiet bars in obscure Canadian town, bars in which nasty little demons haunt his world.
This is a clever little comic, and seems to be taking itself in a direction that’s different from that of most comics that walk this territory. It’s impossible to project a series based on one preview issue, but I hope that Mannix will continue to act in opposition to Dru. I hope that each will be a match for each other as Mannix is dragged, kicking and screaming, to embrace his destiny.
I’ve already implied that I enjoyed Chris McQuaid’s writing here. It’s crisp and fun and tells a story well. You can use the same words to describe Daniel Wong’s art. Often when reading comics by up-and-coming creators, the artwork can be amateurish. But Wong’s art is nicely professional, with a smart use of different ink lines that gives the story a polished feel. He also has a nice eye for layouts, most wonderfully on the final page where he uses a sound effect as frame for an action scene. It’s a clever effect that’s not often seen.
Unfortunately Brian McKay’s artwork on the flip-side five page preview of Agent isn’t nearly as nice. Writer McQuaid again sets up an interesting setting – a former super-hero who hunts and kills other heroes – but McKay’s artwork, especially depiction of human figures, need polishing.
For a zero issue from a brand new publisher, this has real promise.