Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Scarlet Traces

As those familiar with my posts should know by now, I have a bit of an obsession with lists. I suppose it's something that evolved when I was a kid collecting comics and trying to keep track of the continuity of my favorite magazines and characters. My mind sometimes drifts into some sort of common denominator under which I try to put whatever things I like that happen to fall into that umbrella's territory.

For instances, I've often come to the conclusion that one of my favorite type of creators is what I'd call "world-builders". Now, to a certain degree, every writer, director or cartoonist is a world-builder, but there are certain artists who pay particular attention to the "world" in which their stories take place... to the point where the "world" becomes as important as the characters. In these group of creators, I'd include people with works as different as Tolkien, E.P. Jacobs, Hayao Myiazaki or Matt Groening. It isn't that I don't find these artists good at character development or storytelling - they obviously are - but what I really find brilliant in their works is the apparent care and attention in the worlds they create.

Nowadays, this tends to be the most charming element I find in creative works, be it comics, movies or literature. So, it's no wonder that when I incidentally came across Scarlet Traces : The Great Game I went ga-ga. Writen by Ian Edington and illustrated by D'Israeli, this four-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse is a delight to the eyes. If you made sense of my mad scriblings in the previous paragraphs, have a fondness for "parallel worlds" rendered with an eye for detail and verisimilitude and, last but not least, are interested in buying a comic this Christmas try tracking this down and get it while it lasts. You won't be disappointed.


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