Writer: David J. Dentler
Penciler: John Haack
Inker: Ken Anderson
Colors: John Wilson
Publisher: ShaddowFish Comics $3.95 US $5.10 CAN
Tzimtzum Prologueis a difficult comic to categorize. The introduction describes David Dentler and his mission to organize his grandfatherís amateur archaeological research. What the research was exactly is never spelled out. It seems he is part of a vast network of researchers who zealously guard their knowledge for fear itís too revolutionary or shocking for the world to accept. I must admit the subject matter didnít grip me as much as maybe it could have. Iím not a person who is into conspiracy theories or von Daniken style gonzo archaeology so the Blair Witch style marketing campaign behind this title is lost on me.
The story within this issue isnít so much a story as it is an introduction to a mythos, hence the ďprologueĒ in the title. The tale begins with a wandering stranger named Narada as he seeks refuge for the night at the home of a scholar named Vyasa. To pay for his hospitality, Narada relates the tale of his spiritual awakening complete with serpents, desert wandering and an eventual deity manifestation. While this is a perfectly valid beginning for a story the action is too passive and the narrative drones more than it compels you to read.
John Haack and Ken Anderson ably handle the artwork. The storytelling is subdued and surreal but youíd expect that from a tale of spiritual awakening. John Haack is a talented artist who can handle the mundane as easily as the divine. But after seeing the posters and the black and white ashcan of this issue in the media kit, I wished they had decided to reproduce his art in black and white for the full issue. The computer coloring diminishes the artwork and makes it appear flat and lifeless. His black and white work illustrated the story much more vividly than the color art. Iím not sure if any color could enhance his art but perhaps trying a lighter palette applied without a computer would work.
The computer lettering didnít help the overall look of the book either. The font used for the story was chosen to look mythic Iím sure but it ended up making everything look sterile and stiff. Investing in better lettering fonts and word balloons would do a lot to improve future stories.
David Dentler has definitely jumped into comics with an ambitious project. Itís different from just about everything on the shelves today and could develop into an interesting series if he pays more attention to his presentation. A less passive storytelling style and better (or no) computer coloring could make this series an entertaining and unique addition to the art form.
Iím not sure if this was made available through regular comic distribution channels so if you donít see it at your local shop, write to ShaddowFish Comics, 2541 North Thatcher Avenue, #1E, River Grove, IL 60171 or you can purchase it on-line at www.sfcomics.com [This link is dead. You can try their old URL at www.angelfire.com/yt/sfc/index.html and see a bit of information about their comics but if you click on the home button you're going to be sent to the dead link.]