Overview

The Bond of Saint Marcel #1

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The Bond of Saint Marcel #1

Credits

  • Words: Jennifer Quintenz
  • Art: Christian Gossett
  • Inks: Christian Gossett
  • Colors: Emil Petrinic
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 6, 2008

During the Revolutionary War, a bond is made between a vampire and Avery Johnstone. A hero who was marred by excommunication after this act. Fast forward to now, and we meet his great great great, well, really great granddaughter Katherine, who is a little troubled. When her mother passes down a family heirloom, will her life become less troubled or is it really only the beginning?

Archaia Studios is back this week, with four books in your local shop. Two returning books and two new books. This tale of legacy and vampires is one of the new ones. Sometimes, the high concept of the books that come from the lauded studio can be lost either in translation or in the high concept. Unfortunately for this book, it is never made clear that vampires are the subject matter. That information is revealed on the back cover. So word to the wise, always read the back cover of the Archaia books, sometimes it makes them less puzzling.

The majority of this issue, in fact all of this issue is dedicated to exposition. The first part is set during that famous war for our freedom (a theme also revealed on the back cover). This flashback sequence makes for an exciting and interesting read as a group of early Americans perform a ritual for some kind of advantage on the encroaching Redcoats. It is all very mysterious and quite thrilling.

Then we fast forward to modern times and the dialogue drops a bit in quality as we are given the quintessential rich girl in trouble at boarding school story. This, of course, is accompanied by all the appropriate cliches. The new stepdad, the tattoos, etc., it is all there. Then Katherine’s mother gives her a ring and we see a bit of a difference in this story from its Cruel Intentions pedigree and even from its historical vampire romance qualities. Could it be that Katherine is watched over by a vampire? Just what kind of ritual did her numerous amounts of greats granddad perform and what does it mean for the rest of the story? The mystery and the cliffhanger make the reader go "ah", and yes, like Archaia’s best books you are hooked by the end wanting the next issue.

The art is as mixed a bag as the script. The flashback sequence saves some of its sketch-like qualities under the computerized colors. Like Gosset turned in inked pencils to be colored. Backgrounds can be seen through army coats and preliminary lines can be seen in the facial structures. It is a neat technique as it becomes obvious that it is intentional. These are an earlier state of man and the scenes set now have a more fleshed out rendering for a more evolved man. Add the dark and drab colors and when you get to the current setting of the book, it seems to come alive and pop. Good thing too, because once the rendering is increased, the art loses some of its charm. Petrinic does a neat trick with the coloring to keep the reader engrossed though. Each page seems to have a slightly different technique in the coloring scheme. It makes turning the page somewhat of a surprise even when the script fails to deliver interesting plot and story development.

Ben Folds once said that you can have "a crap lyric and a crap melody come together to make an extraordinary song." This reader feels this is what has happened here. The script is kind of all over the place as is the art, but they come together to form a story that wouldn’t quite work the same any other way. If not the ringing endorsement that the creators and publisher probably would have preferred, it is a unique thing to have happen and is well worth checking out.

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