Little Kori in Komaland is one of the odder concepts you’ll ever find for a comic. A young boy is a huge fan of a classic Chinese legend, the Legend of Bai Nu. Walking home from the library one day, with his head buried in a book of legends, young Kori is hit by a car. While comatose, Kori dreams of himself as one of the adventurers in that beloved Chinese legend. This comic tells the story of Kori’s dream.
This issue mercifully spends very little time on that setup, spending almost its entire 24 pages exploring the world of knights, legends and high adventure that Kori is dreaming of. Despite its exotic setting, the characters and plot are familiar and comfortable, and never seem to stray too far from the classical setup about which so many readers are familiar.
There’s a quest of many miles’ journey to attempt to overcome evil. Our heroes are great heroes, while the villainess of the story is treacherous and evil, with a nefarious plan that involves suckering our heroes into believing her lies.
The artwork by Ida Sri Prabowo is a real standout here, as she works diligently to make this journey seem both real and fantastic. She does a wonderful job of depicting the amazing fortresses and castles that the team encounters, all fog-shrouded mystery and eeriness. She sometimes neglects backgrounds to her detriment, but overall she does a fine job of giving the reader a nice sense of scene and mood.
Jennifer Schwartz’s script does its job effectively, though it’s often hard to tell how much of the cliché of the story is intended to come from Kori’s dreams and how much is a plot device. Still, adventure stories are supposed to be full of clichés, and Schwartz uses them well here.
Little Kori in Komaland is an odd little comic, but it’s a sincere attempt by Jennifer Schwartz and Ida Sri Prabowo to produce something very different in today’s marketplace. They certainly succeed with that goal.
For more information on this comic, see the ECV Press website.