Far Arden Hardcover – 16 Jul 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
It hasn't the happiest of stories, but pleanty of good zaney moments along the way.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The reader would benefit from knowing the story of how this book was produced: Cannon was challenged to draw one 24-hour comic (24 pages drawn and completed in 24 hours) each month for an entire year. The result if Far Arden, an epic adventure story set in the Canadian Arctic.
Enter the hero, Army Shanks. Imagine Indiana Jones reincarnated as a renegade Arctic pirate who looks like John Lennon but dresses like the guys from Whale Wars. It is Shanks' mission in life to discover the tropical utopia of Far Arden but before he gets there he must navigate through a delightful gang of eccentric characters that include a Russian businessman, a burly man in chains and a circus warden, a pair of nosey journalism students and a little Short Round who wears a fox pelt while searching for his father's killer. Sound original? You bet!
The story is great fun and it moves rather quickly. Every time I finished a chapter, I promised to read just one more and ended up pressing on because the story was just so damn interesting. Shanks doesn't put up with any BS and watching him fight, trick and luck his way through a series of amusing obstacles makes you root for him more and more.
The artwork is minimal yet striking which works to the story's advantage. The action scenes are highlighted with hilarious and very straightforward sounds and special effects such as "KICK OPEN!" "DRAG OUTSIDE" and "MID-AIR GROIN GRINDER!" that make you chuckle and nod with appreciation.
Kevin Cannon has created and populated a world of his own. Cannon's imagination transcends any Arctic legends of the mystical land and creates its own magic. Filled with humor, adventure, surprises and a villain that reminds you of Count Rugen, the mad scientist with the death machine from The Princess Bride, Far Arden has everything I love in a story.
Mark McGinty is the author of "Elvis and the Blue Moon Conspiracy"
Army Shanks, ex Royal Canadian Arctic Navy man, has the gumption and the will to find Far Arden but many obstacles stand in his way. First he has to find his ship, help a orphan, fight a polar bear, (OK he doesn't fight the polar bear, someone else does), then he does battle with RCAN, meets a couple of weird college kids and so much more.
Far Arden is an adventure story, a graphic novel and 100 percent enjoyable and fun. I loved all the clever plot twists and turns and how all the characters connect with each other in the end. Far Arden is a page turning, karate kicking, stomach punching, thought provoking, kick ass graphic novel that will keep you guessing. There are plenty of surprises thrown in that will make you laugh and pull your heart strings.
Far Arden is skillfully drawn in black and white with intricate detail. Kevin is a well known cartoonist and cartographer and is artwork is drawn with heart and humor and will keep the reader coming back for more.
Oh, I just had an important thought here: Army Shanks kinda of reminds me of an older and wiser Scott Pilgrim. So Scott Pilgrim fans, this should be your next read.
Now I'm off to read the next installment of Army Shanks adventures and to see how he recovers from the ending of Far Arden. Crater XV here I come!
For some reason, I was expecting Far Arden to be one of those hip-cynical, all-too-self-aware comics when I picked it up. So when I ended up with a hare-brained adventure story, to call it a pleasant surprise would be something of an understatement. It's kind of slight in the final analysis, but it's often humorous, the characters are a lot of fun to hang around with, and the story, however simple, is a compelling one that's powered many a quest narrative over the centuries (the search for Utopia, in this case in the guide of Far Arden, a tropical paradise hidden in the arctic). It's a fun book, even if it does get a tough heavy-handed at times. Graphic novel fans will want to pick this one up. *** ½
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