Happy New Year everyone. Comic Book Storytelling is back. This time we will be looking at Shahrazad from Big Dog Ink.
I picked up the Shahrazad #0 preview issue at Wizard World Chicago last summer. The people at the Big Dog Ink booth all seemed pleasant and I decided to buy a few things there. I did not have any expectations of Shahrazad so it was nice when it turned out to be kind of cool. It seems to be retelling the tale of Shahrazad from Arabian Nights but with the additional stories of her time after the harem traveling other lands and perhaps even other worlds. The #0 preview promises that this series will liberally blend genres, mythologies, and time periods and that it will look awesome while they do it.
Issues #1 and #2 came out recently and I finally got my first sample of what the series will be like. It starts off with Shahrazad on an aircraft carrier pirate ship with pilots that ride giant bats who get shipwrecked on an island where three evil sirens are imprisoned. The captain is killed by one of the beautiful sirens for some reason, it seems like a dumb move given he was about to set her free and now everyone knows for sure that she is evil. Shahrazad becomes the new captain and we are treated to some references to Greek mythology and maybe it is revealed that the bid bag they will be facing is the Greek god Janus. I say maybe because it is all kind of vague. I really want to like this series but they seem to have chosen a really awkward place to start the story.
There are some things to like about this title. The art is excellent. There is a great sequence in the first issue where Shahrazad is fighting a giant squid and at the same time having flashbacks to her first day in the sultan’s harem with the panels mirroring each others action. Actually many of the flashback bits are more interesting that what is happening in the ‘present’ of the series. I am far more interested in how they have re-imagined the story of Arabian Nights and what other adventures Shahrazad has had than what they are currently showing. I think I will stick with the series for now in the hopes that this story arc into Greek myth is a brief one and they will soon move onto something more interesting.