Thanks to my good friend David’s generous birthday gift (a Barnes and Noble Gift Card), I picked up Book 1 of Northlanders, a graphic novel set in the Viking Age, a few days ago. It was a quick read, only keeping me for a couple of hours, but it was gift card money well spent. I won’t give a full review of the book, but I will give my impressions for those of you that enjoy reading comics.
The pencils by Davide Gianfelice really captures the true look and feel of Viking life. The battles and blood spray off the page and you feel like you’re right in there with them in the shield wall. Colorist Dave McCaig, whose work I’ve enjoyed on Dark Horses’ various Star Wars books, does a solid job with the material here. The tones were a bit too muted and dark to properly evoke the brutal cold of the Orkneys, but it doesn’t really hurt the book at all. Brian Wood’s Viking story of revenge is 100% on the mark.
The characters are believable and fit nicely into the history the creators are trying to portray here. The story and art ultimately fit together to make an excellent period comic that eschews some of the supernatural trappings that this medium is known for. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a straight forward historical fiction piece that is also a comic book. I highly suggest it for those of you that are into history, Vikings, or comics in general.
As of this writing there are four collected volumes of Northlanders; each one telling a different story about different characters. Northlanders is published by DC Comics under their Vertigo imprint.
You can catch my buddy David over at The Mertiverse. He writes most days about tech stuff, but he still reads the comics and occasionally will toss a post about something he’s read out there.
Thanks again, David.