Allegiance Arts & Entertainment is a new comic-book publisher, which is unique in that they’re launching their new line of comics through a distribution deal with Walmart. And this new series was part of a bundle of comics that were initially crowdfunded on Indiegogo, and I backed it because it was written by one of my favorite writers, Blake Northcott. She’s backed on this by the team of artist Kelsey Shannon, and letterer Eric Weathers, on this title created by Patrick Stiles.
The story begins in Canada, well specifically in Newfoundland, where meet Norah Karlsson, a carefree teenage girl living with parents Bianca and Peter. Bianca is the curator at a local museum that showcases ancient Viking history in Canada. Bianca is an expert in Viking history and Norse mythology and has passed on this interest to her daughter. But one night while driving home from the museum the family is in a car accident which tragically takes Bianca’s life.
The book jumps ahead to an unstated but apparently short time later, Norah and her father have moved to the city for her father’s job as a mechanic, and Bianca is starting her first day at a new High School, in the middle of the semester, where her “uncool” clothes and affinity for science immediately make her stand out, and not in a good way. That night Norah convinces her father to take her out to buy some new clothes so that she’ll fit in, and on the way back they have another car accident, and that’s when Norah finds herself in a whole new world, with the issue ending one heck of a cliffhanger.
So this issue mostly set-up, but it works well, we’re introduced to our main character and get a pretty good idea of her personality and what motivates her. One of Blake’s biggest strength’s as a writer is her ear for dialogue, her characters always sound like real people. I like the way she wrote the conversations between Norah and her father, they have a friendly sarcastic vibe with each other, even when it’s clear that they’re both still dealing with grief from Bianca’s death. It would have been easier to just write Norah as the typical sullen teenager whose angry at the world and her father as being emotionally cold, so I’m glad Blake didn’t fall back on that cliche. I also thought her scenes in high school were written well, it was shown how Norah didn’t fit in and how the other students judged her, without being over the top. No one was shoving her into lockers or anything, the taunts were done in whispers and stares. And Norah’s reactions to her new surroundings at the end of the book were also exciting and makes me eager to see where this story goes next.
As for the art, I was not familiar with Kelsey Shannon’s work before this, but I like what I see. His style fit the story well, I think he and Blake make a great creative team and that Allegiance Arts has a hit on their hands!
Chacebook rating: FIVE STARS
Categories: BLAKE NORTHCOTT