Filed under: Comic Reviews, Indie Comics | Tags: Art Heroes, Daniel Clifford, Halcyon, Lee Robinson, Tenderfoot, The Halogen Man
A highlight of doing a Blog like Comics Anonymous is that we get to pickup titles from the indy/self-published scene in the UK with ease and Halcyon & Tenderfoot from Daniel Clifford & Lee Robinson is a perfect example of that.
It’s true that we make our way through our fair share of titles but in recent times we’ve seen an all-ages title appear on that reading pile and it impressing us with previous examples like Cow Boy & G-Man slapping us in the face with just how good a title like this can be. Where a typical splurge of violence & swearing are not missed and they don’t even register as something that is missing because the story and artwork are still the key elements in entertaining us, the reader.
Now Halcyon & Tenderfoot is exactly that – an all-ages superhero story with the ability to take a Pixar-like sensibility (think The Incredibles – obviously) and merge it with an indy comic that manages to embrace it’s lack of boundaries. No publisher imposing a continuity or a company’s ideas – this is Daniel and Lee’s story being told exactly as they imagined it with a well-rounded and surprising story.
The title opens up as a real homage to the Golden Age of heroes with Halcyon making his mark in the early crime-fighting days before a wave of supervillains rise to match the increase of heroes on the street. Tired with the fight, he hangs up his cape to settle down and have a family but there is always that nagging doubt in his mind that he was put on this earth to fight the good fight. Those ideas may well be some we have seen in other titles before but this story takes a much more responsible approach to the themes they’ve captured. It’s a world where violence and crime have very real consequences.
The fight for good is a common theme as the son becomes a side-kick and then hero in his own right but that’s contrasted well with some poignant deaths that help generate a much deeper sense of caring about the characters than I was originally expecting. Sure we’ve seen other heroes deal with loss but it’s that relatable element that gets us hooked and for this title that makes us want to read-on with that sense of excitement we usually expect when we reminisce while watching the likes of The Goonies (probably a generation thing :D).
Contrasting with our imperfect heroes is the villains – out for their own gains but deeply impacted by the guilt these bring with it…..particularly with the likes of The Halogen Man who’s run-ins with Halcyon in the past resulted in his incarceration but his release would see a troubled character setting out for revenge on Halcyon and his family. This switch between highs and lows brings with it the realistic element that a story of heroes & villains can sometimes lack and the artwork supports those elements of loss and triumph to embellish that further.
While issue #0 started off looking a bit sketchy in terms of the art, that quickly tightened up and improved across the remaining issues. Strongly written characters and an ongoing depth to them helped make tackling the varying themes seem effortless. For an all-ages book the younger readers may be expecting bold-coloured art for the interiors but that’s where the self-published releases sometimes vouch for the strong coloured covers and black & white interiors – something that they have gone for with this title – as an older reader I can appreciate the fine lines and the detail that’s gone into the pages…..as well as the layouts too but that’s not a complaint from me – it is what it is and it doesn’t take away from the quality of the work throughout.
Go check this and the other titles on offer on the webpage and see the other stellar work they do to help the literacy of youngsters in their workshops and more:
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