Incoming: Far Arden

Published by Top Shelf Productions

ISBN: 1603090363

Having enjoyed the educational graphic novel, The Stuff of Life, written by Mark Schultz and illustrated by Zander and Kevin Cannon (no relation) I looked forward to reading Far Arden exclusively made by Kevin Cannon.  Far Arden is one of those books you plow through in an excited and ecstatic manner only to slow down towards the end in order to savor every page turn.

What is apparently the work of several 24 hour comics put together, Far Arden still reads well in one sitting-in fact, that is what I did. The mark making and uniform line widts enchanted me while the story crescendoed with action and sunk back into its contemplative state like a masterful musical movement. This action adventure on the sea took me places emotionally as well so it gets major points for making me cry and laugh.

We follow Army Shanks, a seaman of noted fame, and his ragtag group of well, we’ll call them barnacles. Shanks is a typical loner who wishes to find the island of Far Arden on his own but keeps picking up people attracted to his inner strength, including the pluckiest of orphans!

The story twists and turns but you are right there with Cannon. While some could consider his action sound effects gimmicky, they are delivered with the right amount of humor to be effective. I looked forward to the action sequences and was not disappointed with such beauties as ‘Mid-air Groin Grinder’! Cannon definitely delivers.

One pleasurable design aspect is Far Arden’s end pages. End pages are often forgotten and by GOD, do we need more maps, character portraits or scene setting in the end pages. The strong story speaks for itself but these touches create an overall experience and our attentions are turning slowly towards more than just a reading. The publisher of Far Arden, Top Shelf, makes a habit of producing sincere work and every step of this book is considered.

Check out your local comic book store or our graphic novel section for Far Arden by Kevin Cannon today!

-Jen Vaughn

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One Response to Incoming: Far Arden

  1. Lawrence says:

    For a more in-depth review of Far Arden, here’s a page by page breakdown:

    Pages 1 -400: Really, Really Awesome stuff happens and then you remember each awesome chunk was drawn in 24 hour period and your mind literally shuts down because it can’t process the awesome.

    …awesome.

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