TALGARD – Comics Review
With the explosion in popularity for properties like Dungeons and Dragons and Game of Thrones, fantasy, as a genre, has been brought back to forefront of popular culture. The “lone wandering hero” or “sword and sorcery” brand of fantasy may feel like a bit of an anachronism these days though; something that belongs back in the ‘80s with Conan, Hawk the Slayer and Ladyhawke. Gary Proudley’s Talgard is the kind of smart comic-book storytelling that can reinvigorate a genre and open new areas for interpretation. In the character of Talgard, Proudley gives us a smart, strong, creative hero for a modern audience, and simultaneously lays the building blocks of a whole new fantasy world for us to explore.
Talgard: Divine Structures
Talgard and the Anthology of Doom
The different visual styles of the artists lend a feeling of universality and iconography to the characters, in much the same way that older much loved characters like Conan and Tarzan have been reimagined by innumerable artists, so too is Talgard. Is this Frazetta’s Conan or Vallejo’s? Schwarzenegger or Momoa? It’s the interpretation of the artists that allows different characteristics to be revealed slowly: the essential core of the characters shines through the wildly different styles revealing their many facets. You can cut a gem a thousand different ways, but in the end it’s always a diamond.
Talgard: Flattering Comparisons, Colourful Refractions.
Colour and tone is beautifully used throughout and the muted earthy palette, along with the golden magic-hour colours, really brings the world to life. It’s really beautiful work by Randall, and no matter how simple and clean the line-work, the colours complement them stunningly. It’s also a joy to see the difference between the penciled and inked pages, and then to see the coloured one and to recognise how much magic is achieved through Randall’s vibrant and distinctive colour work.
Talgard: World Builder
Talgard and the Conclusion to all Things
Written by Gary Proudley
Illustrated by Jake Bartok, James Brouwer, Mitch Collins, Holly Fox, Scott Fraser, Katie Houghton-Ward, Marc Noble, Skye Ogden, Craig Phillips, Sarah Winifred Searle, Trev Wood
Cover by Sacha Bryning
Colours by Justin Randall
Letters by Wolfgang Bylsma