Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lexian Chronicles: Full Circle

Last month at the Bristol Comic Expo I had the pleasure of talking to the guys from Markosia Enterprises and picked up a few of their back issue titles, including a complete run - all 12 issues - of the acclaimed publication The Lexian Chronicles: Full Circle which is based on the the best selling novel by Harry Gallan.

The publishers summarise the story as follows:

In a world akin to paradise, the tribes of Alemar have struggled through the ages to maintain a peaceful co-existence. The sudden and mysterious re-appearance of the barbaric Leopard tribe shatters the peace and brings death and destruction upon the peaceful allies. Reena [the young heroine of the story] unravels a secret that verifies the existence of an unknown force working covertly to destroy everything that the allies have worked so hard to achieve.

She follows the path of her warrior ancestors in an effort to find and challenge the mysterious foe and avenge her people. Her quest culminates in an astonishing discovery: a discovery that results in an alliance whose fight for justice appears impossible.


Not being familiar with the original novel I was hooked by this brief synopsis - I thought the story sounded interesting, fresh and different from anything I am currently reading. Having started to read the comics at the weekend I wasn't to be disappointed and read all 12 issues in one afternoon!

The story had the feel of a 'Lord of the Rings' style historical epic and the combination of writing and illustration gave me a sense that the central characters exist in a large 'universe' - large in terms of back history and shear distance between the various tribes. The language of the characters, for the most part, felt rich and considered without ever being clumsy to read.

The artwork - cover and interior - was particularly eye-catching with a deep, warm feel through many of a panels whilst others - when required - transmitted a sense of cold and menace. Lines were crisp and clean without ever feeling clinical.

With historical titles I sometimes have a problem distinguishing between the characters - rough and rugged can look a bit samey to me! - but throughout these books I found it easy to distinguish between characters and therefore easy to follow the story.

The twelve single issues have been published in two trades and I'd suggest this would be the best way to read the story.

Each issue finished on a good 'cliff-hanger' that made me want to pick up the next issue. This was a comfortable, unchallenging read that left me feeling totally satisfied when I finished the final issue - aside from the disappointment that I'd finished the story! The world of Alemar is so large that I'm sure there's scope for development of further stories featuring existing and new characters and tribes.

Hugely enjoyable - recommended.

The Lexian Chronicles: Full Circle
Written by Chris Bunting, Harry Gallan, Charles Satterlee
Art by Inaki Miranda, Eva De La Cruz, Kieran Oats, Ryan David Stegman, David Rivera
Published by Markosia Enterprises, 2005, 2006