In this crazy time, Boom Studios is the new Image Comics. Image in 2013 was a renaissance of creative genius. Books like Saga and the Manhatten Projects. Boom has some incredibly creative talent and they are letting their creators go for it. James Tynion IV is one of my favorite writers. Ever since Talon for DC Comics, everything he has done has been nothing short of solid. I’ve been waiting to review something independent from him for a long time.
I got the chance with Wynd
Created and Written by James Tynion IV
Created and Illustrated by Michael Dialynas
Lettered by Aditya Bidikar
Publisher: Boom Studios
Wynd is a boy who dreams of magic inside him. At night he has dreams of transforming to a magical monster. By day, he’s a boy making his way in Pipetown. His roommate Oakley gets him out of bed and they touch on the things he dreams of. He’s almost ashamed to talk about them. Soon you see him working the kitchen and serving various people in Pipetown. We get a bit of a sense that there is a bit of a xenophobic side to this simple seeming place. Conversations about how magic is trying to corrupt. You get the sense that Molly, one of the servers in the pub has some inkling of wind as after one conversation she wants to see where he is.
Wynd seems to have dreams of seeing grander cases someday. He’s up at the top, using his binoculars to spy on the gardiner, and you can see the fear in Wynd’s eyes when he sees the bandaged man. The second half of the comic focuses on the gardiner, that is where the comic transitions to in the second half of the story. Thorn Cherrywood is the shirtless man Wynd is spying on. He’s a gardiner, who is to take over the duties in the palace, and it is through his father, you get the full spectrum of pipetown’s policy of magic.
Wynd has every reason to be afraid.
Eventually Thorn is summoned to the palace and gets an audience with his friend The Prince, whose name is Yorie. Yorie ends the issue explaining what sounds like his own bipolarism, as well as asking Thorn for a favour.
The book is engaging from the start. Dialynas art feels very much feels like magic. The characters are kinetic and feel like a cartoon from a bygone era in terms of the tone, but in that tone there are layers of darkness. The destruction of the plants by Thorn’s father told the tale that Pipetown had a dark side in the colors of all the light. The fear of contamination of the wild and mystery that is magic in this world is told brilliantly.
Yet Dialynas gives the book a very engaging tone in every scene. The diner Wynd works at feels very much like a pub you’d see anywhere, and the people are very relatable. You’ve had those conversations in that bar with people looking just like that. That’s a deliberate choice. The palace is what you’d expect it to look like and feel like. There’s this overwhelming sense of something familiar coupled with many nuances underneath. Dialynas gives the world layers, and Tynion is smart enough to let the art show the world without hinting too much at what’s next.
Tynion’s script is solid. He’s smart enough to leave the heavy worldbuilding to Dialynas, but adds many great layers and direction himself. You grasped the puritan nature of Pipetown really early, and there’s a lot of detail in Wynd and Thorn especially, but all the characters, even the ones that are on just a page or two feel real, whether they are customers or Thorn’s father. This is a story I’ve read before, but told with a very clever, solid, nuanced way.
This is the start to something very special. I can’t wait to read issue two and I can’t wait to what layers in the onion come forth.
Kathrin Hutson is my guest this week. I’ve loved having Kathrin show up again. She’s one of my favorite people and I’m glad to always chat with her. If you ever get the chance and want to listen to something light hearted, listen to this chat and part one as well.
If you have three dollars, you may want to consider my book, the Cloud Diver, which is available on Amazon. Alice Zero should hopefully be all ready this weekend, and when it is, I’ll be back. So next week I’ll have something else to review.
Stay true and keep being creative out there.