Kings, giants, imps, sorcery, and Magic: The Gathering cards–Elias the Cursed has it all, but is it good?
Elias the Cursed (Humanoids)
“Honey, can you touch up my eyebrow triangle? Thanks.”
Okay, this? This is how you do a French comic.
For those of you unfamiliar with the genre (is it really a genre?), comics from France have a tendency to be big, loud, and odd things, with storylines and character designs that seem a bit weird to us Americans.
It just seems like a much wilder medium over there, with people taking the huge risks we see in a Vertigo line, or with some of the indies. I went into a French comic shop, and even their X-Men comics were odd and weird and trippy. Those cats know what they’re doing with their graphical arts.
All of this leads us to one of Humanoids’ latest offerings: Elias the Cursed, a story about an arrogant and ruthless King who will stop at nothing to claim power and conquer all he can see, and how a sorcerer tricks him, steals all that he has, and sends him on his way to try to win back his life, his throne, and even his face.
Kind of a quirky magic system in this world. Feels a little too “the Gathering” to me.
Sounds pretty kickass, right?
Well it is. This book was fun, and dark, and brutish—what I kind of expect in a fantasy novel, without the usual cliched hero’s journey bullshit. This was a jerk who got what was coming to him, and STILL wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Is It Good?
Yes. This was 10 lbs of awesome in a thimble. Artwork as you can see, was phenomenal:
“SIR WE ARE DYING IN THE JAWS OF THE HORROR BATS AS ORDERED, SIR!”
The storyline was great, coming close to what you’d expect from a fantasy story and then veering away dramatically. The magic system is my only ‘wha?’ moment as it’s pretty much a Magic: The Gathering type game, where reading cards grants you spells that came from heaven and….screw it. That’s WAY too complex for this. The hero (who is a massive asshole, and is even better for it) mostly hits things with his sword, and REJECTS THE LOVE INTEREST.
This book is comic culture shock with French sensibilities and feelings of honor. I’m giving this a 9.5 because of the dumb magic system, but if you want a weird read that will make you feel like you might have been slipped some LSD in Paris, this is your book.
Grab this. It will widen your fantasy and comic horizons.