2018/07/17

D&D comics history part 17 - Where Shadows Fall (K&C)

   It's in July 2003, 6 months after their last issue of Black & White, that Kenzer & Company will publish their 4th and -sadly- last mini-series, once again set in Greyhawk and sequel to In the Shadow of Dragons, under the name :

Where Shadows Fall

 

   As indicated on the covers, this will be a 5 issues story, but contrary to the other mini-series, the parts have no title :
#1 (July '03)
#2 (Sep. '03)
#3 (Dec. '03)
#4 (Feb. '04)
#5 (June '04)

   The story is written by the author of the prequel, Jay Donovan and as usual a bunch of artists will work on this :
Carlos Alberto S. Paul : Penciller of parts 1, 2, 4 & 5
Anderson Ricardo : Penciller of part 3
Ricardo Riamonde : Colorist of parts 1 & 2
Salvatore Aiala : Colorist of parts 3* to 5
Matt Haley : Cover pencils of parts 1 to 3, Cover colors of parts 1 & 2
David Hahn : Cover inks of parts 1 & 2
Scott Kester : Cover colors of part 3
Joe & Rob Sharp : Covers of parts 4 & 5
Marcos Schmidt : Lettering of all parts
*credited in part 5 erratum
 
 Part 1 - Art by Carlos Alberto, colors by Ricardo Riamonde

   
 Part 3 (left) - Art by A.Ricardo &  Part 5 (right) - Art by C.Alberto (both : colors by S.Aiala)

   We have a really more-than-decent art here. On both pencil & colors we find a series at its maturity. And when we have another penciller in charge of the middle issue, the coloring of S.Aiala do the trick in the transition. The light & shadow effects are very powerful in the first issues while the lines are getting sharper and the colors brighter in the last ones. Marcos Schmidt did a really nice lettering work here (but one nice fumble in last issue... cf pict below) and, doing all parts, gives us a textual coherence all along (which wasn't always the case in the precedent series).

When the great villain suffers of Palilalia... obvious hint of a developed dementia... :P

As well, it seems Jay Donovan took some confidence as he provides a far less boring (yeah, yeah, am a bit harsh here...) and kinda less classic story than he did before. The tone itself is lighter and he managed to get rid of the superfluous chitchat.

   This story takes place in the Phostwood Forest (more details on the 1998 Oerth Journal #8 - p.11 to 17), in the Duchy of Tenh and aside the Bandit Kingdoms, where our 3 heroes (Lucien Cathal, Roarn Stonehearth & Verena Mornbringer) from In the Shadow of Dragons are summoned by Aurric Whitewind to locate and return his daughter, Lumari. This one, in love with a drow named Cerin, and caught in their rendez-vous by her father some months ago ended under a temporal stasis spell to avoid her fleeing with her beloved again. But in order to avoid her to be moved, Cerin ordered his spellcaster (a certain Terannkis) to place a curse uspon her. As a result, if she were taken away, all the dead throughout the Phoswoods would rise again within 2 weeks... Cerin having freed his beloved 3 days ago, our heroes (accompanied by the damsel-in-distress' bro, Caddal) have now 12 days left to save the elven people from an undead invasion... while on Cerin's side, his leader, the powerful Abehhan-Vrre is preparing his war against the Phostwood he's lusting for... 
   From the Phostwood to some hideout in the Rift Canyon, passing by the Fellreev Forest (to meet Krysanya the Scryer) and the "hole in the Oerth" town of Luendorn (to meet some old friend), we have here some rescue-the-princess story on a Romeo & Juliet / Troy War background...far more entertaining and funnier than its prequel, Kenzer & Co reached some level here and the quality of the story as well of its art would bear comparison with the upcoming DDP's publications.

World of Oerth - Duchy of Tenh, Fellreev Forest & Bandit Kingdoms area

Note that we are granted of an unique piece of RPG material at the beginning of the 4th issue :


   It's kinda sad to think this will be the last mini-series Kenzer & Co will produce under the D&D license as they were getting very good at it, raising the quality from one to the next... I tend to think that these short publications convinced WOTC to persevere in the comics industry. These may be not the most famous D&D comics but K&C really offered their readers a nice insight of the Greyhawk setting and pretty fun tales to read.

O_oV

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