Review – Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1 (IDW Publishing)

Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1
  • Writing - 8.2/10
  • Art - 8.6/10
  • Overall - 8.4/10
User Review
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Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1

Writer: David M. Booher
Artist: Drew Zucker
Colorist: Vittorio Astone
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Maturity Rating: Everyone
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: July 22, 2020

Canto has to save the day once again in this exciting one-shot that continues the adventures of everyone’s favorite tin hero. He may be little, but he has a ton of heart, and Canto is off again to save some captured fairies.


“Burning Heart” Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1

One of my favorite series from last year comes back with a brand new one-shot story in Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1. The last we saw of Canto, the brave little tin man had freed his people from enslavement by the Shrouded man and he was leading them to their lost homeland. In Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1, we find Canto and his trusty Malorex having a bit of fun on their journey. That fun turns into another adventure for Canto, as he stumbles upon some captured fairies and faces another fiend! 

Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1 (IDW Publishing) cover by Drew Zucker
Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1 (IDW Publishing) cover by Drew Zucker

Come once again to enjoy an adventure with Canto as David M. Booher, Drew Zucker, Vittorio Astone, and Deron Bennett delve into the world of Canto. A mix between The Wizard of Oz and Dante’s Inferno, it is a story that once again proves Canto is all heart.


Hey, if you didn’t notice, I really loved Canto. Vol. 1: If I Only Had a Heart. It was a delightful series and I was excited to see the whole team back for this one-shot issue. David M. Booher dives us right back into this fairy tale/fantasy world. We pick up just about where the previous issue left off, as Booher sets Canto’s people upon their journey home. 

What Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1 and Booher do well is help build up this world of Canto a little more. We got to see quite a bit of it in the first volume, but this one-shot issue helps expand on that. We also get to confirm that Canto is still the hero we left, unwilling not to help those in need, which continues to make him an ever-enduring character.

I do wish this was a tad bit longer, though, or things a little more streamlined. I overly enjoyed the story; the pacing did feel a tad bit rushed as Booher tried to fit things in. That is a very minor complaint, as I still felt satisfied after putting down Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1.

It is hard just not to smile while reading this series, and I felt the same joy while reading this issue. Just smiling from page to page.


I am also excited to have more Drew Zucker artwork in my life. Again, I think the thing I gushed about most in my reviews of the first volume of Canto was character design, and that continues to shine. Canto and the tin people are just delightful in their designs I can’t get over how simple yet good they are. I like, in this issue, that Zucker didn’t make the “fairies” overly cute; they have a little bit more “creepy” monster design that I enjoy. It makes them feel more “original” as well. Also, the main “bad guy” of the story, which I won’t spoil, looks fantastic. Great imagination showing in all these character and world designs.

Zucker is a great visual storyteller, as well. His layouts and character acting are fantastic. He weaves the story perfectly with his visuals. He also builds the world tremendously well with some great background detail and little details here and there. 

Vittorio Astone‘s colors also continue to work perfectly for the story and “feel” of Canto. The art as a whole captures that storybook, fairy tale type feeling of Canto. It feels dark and scary, yet kid-friendly all at the same time, which makes this a perfect all-ages type book.


If you haven’t yet, go pick up and read Canto Vol. 1: If I Only Had a Heart, and then buy Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1. I promise you will not be disappointed. This is a great one-shot issue that continues to build the characters and world of Canto. I think this will also serve as a great “bridge” to the next Canto series coming in July: Canto Vol.2: The Hollow Men.

Canto is a fantastic concept for a character and world. The book, from a creative standpoint, is all very well done, from story to art. It is also a great book for kids and adults alike. I am pretty sure I said something like this in my review of Canto #1 but this feels like those animated films that are kid-friendly but have some darker hints to them. The tone and feel of the series are just perfect from my standpoint and they continue to shine in Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1.

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