I’ve talked before about these guys in my review of ‘The Wren’ (see here) – they are a tiny Irish publication company, self funded and really quite a lot of fun! This is their second release, after the success of The Wren, and it is an all ages-comic once again, younger reader-friendly. So meet Artos the Bear spirit of the west of Ireland!
Whereas The Wren is set in the capital city (that closely resembles Dublin), Artos is our western, rural hero, set in the beautiful landscapes and historical landmarks of Western Ireland. The story revolves around an archaeologist and his son who is granted the power from the old god Artio to transform into a Bear of great power.
This story will tie into the universe and events of The Wren with the upcoming issue #11 of that series, but these first two issues set up the premise and surroundings of this side of Hibernia’s magical island.
Setting the tones are creators Mike Lynch and Jason Connors – Connors, who also draws The Wren, delivers clear crisp imagery and angular, dynamic panels that really draws the eye. The Ben 10-esque range of expression and youthfulness abounds as these issues are action-packed and filled with high adventure.
Lynch’s writing is clear in it’s intent, and tonally diverse from The Wren, giving you the sense that although it is the same universe and island as The Wren, the two stories here are very different with two unique voices (much like the Irish cities of Dublin and Galway)
Although this story hasn’t as many characters as The Wren, this tale is still so much fun! Lynch and Connors craft as great a tale with the new characters that are instantly engaging, and they are ones you can easily empathise with – this is a beast of a story about a beast of a bear!
Since the last review, Button Press’ market has managed to expand so these titles are available in Forbidden Planet’s Dublin shop as well as Orbital Comics in Leicester Square, London. I would highly recommend picking them up -especially if you’ve got kids you want to get into reading comics and need a good adventure book to get them hooked!