What They Say:
Grizzled Action Lab veterans Jeremy Whitley (script) and Jason Strutz (art) bring a tale of myth and mystery with the release of The Order of Dagonet #1! When mythological creatures of ancient Britain return, the call goes out to England’s knights for help. Unfortunately, the call is answered by an aging rock god, a classically trained actor, a writer of boy wizard books, and a pop star in funny glasses!
This oversized issue is stuffed with action and mystery and introduces the reader to the magical world of Great Britain. (from Action Lab Comics.com)
When I decided to try something new in the world of comics, the odd description and zany cover of this one caught my eye. Since I’d already read and loved Jeremy Whitley’s writing on Princeless, I thought it would be fun to give Order of the Dagonet a try.
The first thing that struck me was the art. Jason Strutz created something here that is so different from what I am used to seeing. The variety of the panel layouts alone was fascinating, and the layout of each page was artistically rendered to suit the content of the page. From the spreading circular layout of the early pages that mimicked the radio broadcast to the more amorphous shapes he used when the faeries entered the scene, each page was a work of art. Yes, sometimes the layouts were a bit tricky to navigate, but they were always eye-catching. The coloring and artistic style was also distinct. It almost seemed drawn with pastels and bold strokes, though the style varied based on the level of reality on the page, with more starkly drawn lines for the realistic events, and dreamlike qualities for the fey. I liked how the color palettes changed to fit the characters and mood of each section. My favorite panel by far was the close up of Puck’s eyes.
That’s not to say that the art was the only thing going for this first issue. There was a wonderful, tongue-in-cheek humor to the whole story. How can you take yourself too seriously when the heroes of your tale are so completely unheroic? I enjoyed seeing them come together in the dream world to meet Merlin and learn about their task. The next section, though, was slow in pacing. Going back to each individual artist knight and watching them find a way to get to London took too long. Dizzy, the “aging rock god”, was frustrating to try to understand. I loved the segment about the writer, though. My favorite portions included watching Queen Elizabeth be bored to tears at a Shakespearean performance and seeing the fey pop up into the scenes. I’m definitely interested in finding out what happens as the unlikely heroes descend upon England.
While there were some portions of the storyline that dragged a bit, and understanding Dizzy was darned near impossible, the overall story had me intrigued. The artwork was a major departure from what I’m used to seeing, and I loved the effects it created. Honestly, though, how can you resist a story that brings Oberon, Puck, and Titania to modern England and gives a group of crazy artistic knights the call to arms?