Comic book publisher, Accent UK, are about to publish their first ever fantasy comic book. The wonderfully titled, Kia Wordsmith, is currently on Kickstarter to help raise the funds to create this first issue, in what will be a 4 issue mini-series.
During this weekend, I got chatting to Dave West, one of the co-founders of Accent UK, when I popped by his stall at MCM Scotland this year in Glasgow. It was here that he informed about the kickstarter campaign for his new project, which he has created, alongside artist Ian Ashcroft.
The Kickstarter campaign was launched at the beginning of this month, and has already received an outstanding amount of support, as the campaign has already surpassed it’s pledged goal. The campaign only has 3 days left, but after Dave was kind enough to gift me the first issue of Kia Wordsmith, I can tell you that this is one Kickstarter project that you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Let me tell you something here. I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre. Always have been, and most likely always will be. There is something about being transported into a completely different reality to our own, that really hooks me into a story. With that being said, Kia Wordsmith immediately piqued my interest.
Let me set the premise of this first issue for you. Set in a world that that has been changed by a distant war, the title character, Kia Wordsmith, lives in a grand city where magic and science work in harmony. However, despite years of peace and learning, there is another war brewing in the shadows, which leaves the city ill prepared for what is to come.
What I really enjoyed about this first issue, is that from the very first page, you are immediately transported into another world, and you can tell the creators have a passion for the fantasy genre. With an incredible attention to detail, this first issue lays the groundwork for a solid world building piece, that looks to continue and expand over its intended 4 issues.
Whilst magic and world building is key to a good fantasy story. There also needs to be a good story that is represented by the main character. In this case, Dave West has created a thoroughly interesting first issue, that deals with the themes of freedom and growth. These themes are reflected within the character of Kia Wordsmith herself, who makes for an interesting protagonist for the series. She longs to escape reality and experience adventure for herself, and she does so by escaping the laws of her city as she takes to running across the rooftops of the city at night.
For me, personally, Kia represents that side of us all that desires to escape reality and find adventure. What makes a fantasy story so compelling, is having a character that you can escape the reality with, and join them on their quest. This is what proved to be a highlight for me during this first issue. As I mentioned earlier, I was immediately transported into a different world from the first page, and that in my opinion makes for a successful fantasy series.
As Kia runs above her city, this is where the story begins to really take off. As she longs for a life of adventure, she finds herself facing someone else who lives the exact life that she wants, and from there she makes a series of decisions that will begin her own adventure that she longs for. Without spoiling the story, or giving too much away, it is here that the magical element comes into focus, and I for one am really interested to see where the story continues within the next issue.
One other thing that I need to highlight here, is that I absolutely love the look of this comic. Artist Ian Ashcroft has created a tonal palette that is almost as magical as the genre itself. I’ll try to keep this is spoiler free as I can, but the colours at the start of the story are rich and warm, before the story reaches a pivotal point, and the tone completely shifts into something altogether more ethereal and jaw dropping.
To put things simply, this first issue of Kia Wordsmith, ticks all the right boxes for me. This first issue builds a solid groundwork for a series that looks to be rich in storytelling, as Dave West and Ian Ashcroft have created a staggeringly original piece of work, that looks to highlight everything that we love from the fantasy genre.