Title: Kenneth the Conjuror #0
Publisher Name: Sunset Graphic Literature
Writer: Ryan Zambrano
Art: Ash Jackson
1.99, 8 pages, Color
Safety Content Label: A - Appropriate for age 9 and up.
The Conjuror's story begins nearly 2,000 years ago when a portal appears in Kenneth's village. Moments later, the Demons pour out. Kenneth loses everything - his mentor, friends and family. Crumpled in the dirt, Kenneth watches as Rhianna, his lifelong love, is stolen into the portal.
The first exciting story arc moves quickly from Kenneth's ancient village, through a portal to Hell, back to Earth and leads us, ultimately, to a spectacular confrontation along the coast of present-day California.
I met Ryan at MegaCon where he told me about his new book Kenneth the Conjuror, gave me a copy of issue zero to review and even threw in a glow in the dark Kenneth the Conjuror cup. Now before I get into reviewing the actual comic, I have to say that's a smart marketing strategy. Every time I used that cup, I thought, "I really need to read that comic and see what it's all about." (And yes, I still have the cup.)
So on to Kenneth the Conjuror. The visual of the Conjuror reminds me somewhat of Marvel comic's Juggernaut, with obvious differences of course. Although he seems to be a powerhouse, he's got some other remarkable powers and his history seems much more interesting to me.
This issue zero sets the stage for the Conjuror, covered some of his history and gave you some insight on some of the powers the Conjuror weilds. It starts out with a battle between the Conjuror and two toadies, Flake and Slush, of what seems to be a much larger enemy. From the Conjuror's name I assume his powers are based in magic (and the art of issue 1 sent to me seems to confirm this). He appears to be able to raise force fields of some kind, is immensely strong, and can shoot some sort of blasts from his hands.
The art Ash Jackson brought to the issue was strong and really helped carry the comic in the small space provided that Ryan Zambrano had to work with. The art for issue 1 looks just as good, if not better than issue zero and if Ryan doesn't send it to me to review when the lettering is complete, I'm going to have to track him down and call him mean names. Ok, so I won't call him mean names, but I'll ask him for it. The only issue I had with the art was that sometimes, The Conjuror's hooded cape or robe was green and sometimes it looked almost red. Personally I liked the red better, but judging from the issue 1 art, they went with the green. Not that the green looked bad or anything... I just thought he looked cooler in red.
Given the fact that this issue was essentially a trial run to see how the book would take, and how many pages they had to work with in this issue, I would say the creative team behind this issue was very strong and they did a good job with telling the back story and still managing to work in a knock-down, drag-out fight to keep the reader interested and show off some of the Conjuror's abilities. Future issues with more room for pages seem promising and if they can pull this off in only eight pages, I'm more than ready to see what they can do in a full page book.