Sleeping Dragons #3
[Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics $2.95 US B&W]
Written by Kevin Mason / Penciled by Alex Szewczuk / Inked by Craig Taillefer
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Sleeping Dragons #3“Becca’s Scarecrow Act II” continues the story begun in Sleeping Dragons #2 where the Hawthorne family and Philip Escaladine are watching a play about the Great War. As in issue two, historical flashback is interspersed throughout the real-time play narrative. You might think this could get confusing for the reader but Mason and Szewczuk are so skilled at storytelling that the scenes flow smoothly and clearly.

The threat of another invasion by the Crough is made menacingly real through the play. We get to see more of the Crough in this issue and discover a little more about their motivations for invading the Kingdom of the West. Unfortunately once the Crough were defeated the “destroy everything” mentality of the victors seems to signal an inevitable repeat of the previous war.

Alex Szewczuk and Craig Taillefer bring a simplicity of style to the artwork that compares favorably to the work of Jeff Smith and Linda Medley. Equal attention is paid to the figures and backgrounds in each panel, something that not enough comic book illustrators do today. The city of Gan and the Kingdom of the West are as vital as the characters in the story and the illustrations show that fact splendidly.

Since this issue picks up in the middle of the story, Kevin Mason has wisely included a “The Story So Far” section on the inside front cover. So don’t let the idea of starting this series on issue three scare you off. The creative team on this book is crafting an entertaining fantasy tale that is sure to engage even the most jaded comic fan. This series is shaping up to be one to watch.

Check your local comic shop first but if you can’t find this series there, write to SLG Publishing, 848 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126 or visit the publisher’s web site at www.slavelabor.com.