Overview

The Engineer: Konstrukt #1

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The Engineer: Konstrukt #1

Credits

  • Words: Brian Churilla and Jeremy Shepherd
  • Art: Brian Churilla
  • Inks: Brian Churilla
  • Colors: Jeremy Shepherd
  • Story Title: Konstrukt
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Dec 12, 2007

Brian Churilla and Jeremy Shepherd are newcomers to the field, following suit with the myriad other creative teams surrounding Archaia Studios Press' onslaught of new talent.  And yes, just like David Petersen, Hub, Alex Sheikman, and Fults and Wielinga before them, they’re a creative duo to die for.

The Engineer: Konstrukt tells the tale of a man eponymous with the book’s title, a man chosen by a trio of serpentine specters to collect all the gears, bits and pieces (and, bits and pieces, and) of the disassembled “Konstrukt,” a device able to control all of reality, and therefore a thing that dark forces called “The Lahar” fear mightily.  The first issue opens in medias res, the Engineer racing for his life from a giant stone behemoth who contains a  particular piece of the Konstrukt’s guts inside of its guts.  What follows, then, is a remarkable chase sequence, culminating with what proves to be a severe start to the story at large (let’s just say it makes an impact).

Hot on the heels of the wild and weird sci-fi flavor that Fear Agent has brought back into vogue, Engineer mixes the same irreverent humor, high-octane action, and over-the-top inventiveness as modern comic sci-fi buffs have come to expect.  The story by Churilla and Shepherd never lets up, not for an instant, which isn’t to say it’s all explosions and violent activity, but rather there’s never a page or single panel that doesn’t contain something new, something bizarre, something that puts the pieces of the story’s backdrop into slow assemblage like the Engineer himself does for his all-powerful Konstrukt.  There’s forever more than the reader honestly expects to find: a hidden laboratory, a monstrous-sized organ that, when played, allows for pan-dimensional travel, an artificial man, genocidal wraiths in Noh masks that steer the Engineer’s mission, dark Yog-Sothothic entities as antagonists, and an origin story that’s tremendously comic in contrast to the book’s set-up and name.

Churilla’s art is highly reminiscent of Eric Powell’s, both in line and layout, though he often pays it inkier a la Mike Mignola and has a touch more crooked fluidity, mirroring Dean Haspiel.  In short, the book could win a beauty pageant, should they hold one for comics, and Churilla’s source influences lend his art all the dynamism necessary to keep this pretty, pretty pony looking strong and vital.  The Engineer encompasses a story that isn’t slow-build and hardly ever still; it’s consistently forward-moving, an adventure that reigns itself in only for the sake of introduction and observation of its many, many parts.   Jeremy Shepherd’s colors then push the look of the book into firm “cosmic” territory, taking Churilla’s naturally more horror-laden lines and sprucing them into something old-school gaudy and awesomely suited to the subject matter at hand.

It’s becoming mundane to say this, but: The Engineer: Konstrukt #1 is yet another out-of-the-park homerun hit for Archaia Studios Press.  The story is very, very fun, wholly entertaining, the elements of said whole imaginative and absorbing, with art that could make a sold-out success of any vastly inferior script.  Cosmic, zany, epic, 90% chance of beatific side-effect.  If that sounds like a dress you’d want to wear, then this series’ll have you dressed to the nines.

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