Monday, January 7, 2013
Graphic Novels Challenge: El Cazador
Let me make something clear right now - I suck at writing reviews.
If you're looking for a discussion of the writers' and artists' body of work and where this fits into their oeuvre, you'll need to look elsewhere - all I'd be doing is parroting someone else's insights. If you're looking for details about the plot and the characters, then you'll be disappointed - I can't stand reviews full of spoilers. I'm not going to waste my time or yours on a lengthy publishing history.
Okay, still with me?
And on top of all that, the artwork is breathtaking. There are a dozen panels at least that I would gladly blow up to poster size, starting with the opening pages featuring a view from the sea floor of fish swimming amidst the wreckage and corpses of an capsized galleon floating above.
El Corazon, written by Chuck Dixon and penciled by Steve Epting, first appeared in 2003 and ran for six issues until the publisher, CrossGen, went belly up the next year, bringing the series, and Lady Sin's quest for revenge against Blackjack Tom, to an abrupt and unwelcome halt. The six issues were collected and published as a graphic novel by Hyperion Paperbacks in 2007, and if my copy is at all representative, they did a pretty crap job of it - my pages are near to falling out as the spine crackles and snaps every time I gently thumb through the book.
It's a real shame this story never found its way to completion - Lady Sin would appear in Sigil in 2011, after Marvel acquired GrossGen's rights, but in a new storyline - but there is a lot of solid inspiration for cape-and-sword campaigns found between the covers of El Cazador.