Aug 30, 2010

Comic Review - MYTHOI Book I: Birth

When you pick up a book with completely unfamiliar characters, read it straight through without stopping and put it down wanting to know more about everyone and everything involved, I think it's safe to say you've got a winner. That's what happened when I read MYTHOI Book I: Birth from SemantInk Publishing recently.

MYTHOI Book I: Birth is just that. The birth of a vast universe primed to grow into something epic. Here, writer James Ninness and artist Jed Soriano are embarking on a journey set for a full 60-issue run and from the six tales that begin in MYTHOI: Birth, they'll have no problem filling them. The book is hard to explain, yet easy to explain at the same time. After reading writer Michael Fountain's introduction (an epic saga of it's own), I was left in an almost philosophical state of mind as I pondered myth, religion and science. He says mythoi is the plural of mythos, which are the beliefs of a specific cultural group, but in MYTHOI: Birth, MYTHOI are something more specific. The closest comparison I can make is that they are to their specific people as the Titans were to the Greek Gods.

In fact, one of the best parts of MYTHOI: Birth is that even though the characters are unknown, there is still a familiarity in each of their stories that will help you navigate the uncharted territory. For instance, the first MYTHOI we are introduced to, Wiglaf, has ties with not only Cain and Abel but Grendel as well. The second, young Vito, has a reason to hate one Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Harker. The sixth tale, a bonus for this trade paperback by Ninness and artist Yanglyn Ou, will have you looking at Little Red Riding Hood in a whole new light. You get the idea. It's like myths themselves, where civilizations borrow from other civilizations and thousands of years down the road you've got something entirely new.

Jump onto the ground floor of MYTHOI: Birth now, it's gonna be huge. After reading Ninness' afterward I can almost guarantee you that. His stories speak for themselves but his overall intelligence and talent are clear. He's got his finger on the pulse of comic readers everywhere, utilizing just about everything they're after these days - vampires, werewolves, ghosts, gods and even the future.

His choice of artists doubles his efforts. Soriano does an incredible job making each MYTHOI character flow into the next while still managing to give them their own visual identities. In addition, his colors are used to great effect and his action scenes are well choreographed. Yanglyn Ou's work couldn't be more different from Soriano's but her fairy tale look for the sixth story is beyond beautiful and dramatic. The first two issues of the 60-issue run following the TPB are now available for digital download at SemantInk.com, for $0.99 each but pick MYTHOI: Birth up now and find out how this baby came screaming into existence.



Besides the five main stories, the MYTHOI Book I: Birth TPB includes script to page progressions, sketch pieces by Soriano, sketch pieces by the TPB cover artist Kevin Warwick, introduction by Fountain and afterward by Ninness and the previously unreleased MYTHOI Birth tale by Ninness and Ou. It's being sold exclusively at SemantInk.com for $19.99 but there is a $2 discount for pre-orders until Friday, September 10th when the book is officially released.

5 comments:

Latchkey Kid said...

Is the image from the book? I saw them handing out postcards with this Pinocchio Vampire hunter at Phoenix and San Diego Comic Cons. If it's that good I will definitely pick it up!

The Nerdy Bird said...

Yes, the first image is the cover and the second is from inside. I highly recommend picking it up. Let me know what you think!

Anonymous said...

New issues are in the works, with new art that will be amazing...the guy that did the cover art is doin the new issues and he is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Awesome cover art!

Anonymous said...

Haha I wish that was true cuz the character design on the cover is awesome.