Being somewhat jaded with the current state of comics I have sought refuge in the 50c comic book bins of my local comic book shop Comics Etc. Periodically instead of dusting the store Nathan will dive into the cheap bins for me and find a gem that renews my faith in funny books, how did he go this week?
I realised on comic book day that I’ve fallen well behind on my 50c bin reviews (I have also yet to send SG3 his copy of Royal Roy but that’s his beef with me not yours) so I’ll be doing a couple over the next week to try and get ahead.
Now my understanding of A Distant Soil #17 is that Nathan was deciding between it and another book but when he opened it up he knew that it belonged here. I can only assume that this is because on the first page there’s a pin up of two dudes embracing. Except I was kind of convinced one of them wasn’t a dude because he kind of looks like a woman.
That being said I’m all fine with dudes hugging each other, hug away guys! The romantic feel off of this makes me worry though, I’m not one for romance in my comics…
Now I need to say straight away that I support the shit out of indie comic creators, anyone who finishes a book they’re working on and actually puts it out there for people to read are damn impressive and better than 95% of those who talk a lot about doing this stuff. So full respect to Colleen Doran, however this book is not for me.
To be fair it was never written for me and it clearly has its fans, in fact after doing a little research it has collectively sold 500,000 copies. The story seems very rich but it involves a lot of fantasy elements including Galahad from Avalon and some sort of fairy who in this issue reveals his nature to the group. There’s also a dude with a lot of scars who either used to be a slave or still is, I’m not entirely sure and maybe an alien woman who seduces a character whom I thought was a woman for most of the book (actually the entire first read through).
The art is quite good in parts but there’s also some really awkward parts and one of the main character’s gender is really ambiguous (this may be on purpose), I know I keep coming back to that but to be honest it really threw me out.
The dialogue is a little dated but then it was created when Doran was 12 or something and it’s not like I haven’t seen dated dialogue in other more prominent titles.
It’s really hard to muster up any desire to whip on this book because it’s obviously a labour of love and I’m so obviously not the intended reader. I know people who would probably love this series.
One thing I will also mention is that the series has a character who is referred to as the Avatar who’s power can only be wielded by one person at a time. That’s ummmm kind of familiar (note that this was published in the 90s).
So how did we go on the resell value of this book? Am I laughing all the way to the bank after flipping a 50c coin over the counter at Comics Etc?
Well for an investment of 50c I found a copy on eBay for $1.97 with postage of $11.87 which was the cheapest I could find it. So with the postage gouging I still at least double my money with a bit on the side. Samurai Santa still leads with this now coming in second on its returns.
Nathan did okay on this one, it’s kind of random which is what we like.