Liam Sharp might be the best artist in the game today. I “met” Liam (ie, chatted with him on Facebook) while he was working on a book called Testament. Liam then was great. Since then, he’s done incredible work on Wonder Woman, Brave, and the Bold and has one of the coolest Green Lantern books in the last twenty years. Each time you look at Liam’s art and there is a depth to it that is absolutely incredible. I feel the density in Liam’s work whenever I see it. Some of the fullest sharpest pencils and colors. Few people in the industry can capture a mood in a story as good as Liam can.
So I have to review his latest work. It’s a number one, and it may be his best work yet.
Book One: The Dragon and the Boar
Written, Illustrated, and lettered by Liam Sharp
Additional Art Matylda McCormack-Sharp
Font by Dave Gibbons
Logo by Liam Sharp and Christina McCormack
Publisher Image Comics
So I almost want to say Sharp is showing off right off the bat reading this book. The first five pages outside of the quote of the prologue is completely textless and breathtaking. As it’s apparent deeper into the story, each of the opening places takes place at a different point in time. The pictures were vivid and breathtaking, and the colors link right into the first action in the story. A man comes out of the water and is killed by the orders of someone that looks like a queen.
Then the narrative shifts to the future. In the future, mankind awakens an artificial intelligence, and it attacks human beings by creating human shells to inhabit, using our fear of ourselves to intimidate us. What stops the machines is magic. A group called the Knights of the Veldt had kept the machines at bay. Somehow the knights disappear. The hows or whys are a mystery.
We flashback to the present, as Amber watches her boyfriend Daryl play football. Amber is a Wiccan artist, who is talking about horned gods. Magic is a part of her, and she expresses it to her love, as she tries to convince him to meet her parents at Samhain.
The connection to this moment goes back to the future, as a Wyllt, son of the Ur-Queen has his own preoccupations with love. He is summoned to the Ur-Queen to solve the mystery of what happened to the knights, and what happened to magic. He is sent back in time and comes to the point that the story started from, only he is discovered by someone different. I won’t spoil Wyllt’s name in the past, but it’s perfect.
Sharp’s dialogue and prose remind me just a touch of Saga in terms of how the story is told but definitely is its own voice. Amber is an interesting protagonist, and her connection to magic feels like it is inevitable that Wyllt and her will coincide. Sharp is an underrated storyteller. His prose is solid, the dialogue is fun, and the story has some very interesting mythological foundations. Liam understands how a story works.
As for the art…just wow. Breathtaking doesn’t do the art justice. Just the drawings of Amber’s tarot deck is incredible. The level of detail, depth, and storytelling in the art is nothing short of masterful. Liam Sharp is one of the best in the world at what he does. His command of story, art, and putting together has created an ambitious beginning. I’m curious if he keeps this up, but this is a great start. I cannot recommend this enough.
And if you like what I’m doing and enjoyed the Kickstarter, I have my advertising business right here. Go check it out if you want me to create assets for your projects or for yourself. The podcast is doing quite well, as I’ve been interviewing some amazing people. I can’t believe I’ve done 800 episodes. I’m barreling towards 1000.
That’ll do it. Next time, we’ll go back into Wonderland. Until then, stay inspired out there.