Writing - 9/10
Art - 9/10
Overall - 9/10
These Savage Shores #1
Writer: Ram V
Illustrator: Sumit Kumar
Colors: Vittorio Astone
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Publisher: Vault Comics
Maturity Rating: M
Summary: Set in the year 1766, These Savage Shores #1 introduces us to a world of dark creatures and nightmares. These are the things we’ve forced ourselves to stop believing in.
User Review( votes)
Blending History and Fantasy to a Disturbing Level of Perfection
These Savage Shores is a new series from Vault Comics. Despite how relatively new it is, it has been getting a lot of ink lately. People can’t help but be drawn to the unknown, a theme which is explored in this series.
The series is set in 1766, with the first issue focusing heavily on the Silk Route and the East India Companies attempts to get control of it all. Anybody that follows history knows what sorts of crimes were committed during these times, so it is difficult to imagine worse monsters than that of our own making. But that is exactly what These Savage Shores seeks to explore.
These Savage Shores #1 lives up to all the expectations the name provides. It’s dark, it’s mysterious, and there are elements that just feel so surreal and unnatural. The tone is spot-on. The story itself is of epic proportions.
It was bold to set the series in the 1700s, but it was also a brilliant move as well. Ram V knew exactly what sort of story he wanted to tell, and he went for it. The supernatural and historical elements are blended perfectly, leading us down a dark and twisted road…
There were multiple storytelling techniques used throughout These Savage Shores #1. There were flashbacks, switching perspectives, and even the use of letters as internal monologues. They were all fused together to give us a comprehensive understanding of the world we were being shown. While we still don’t understand all of the creatures that have been revealed, the implication is that with time we will learn.
The first issue follows vampire Alain Pierrefont on his trek from one home to another. The character had such poise to him, while at the same time is undoubtedly a monster through and through. The balance between these two extremes was exceptional and gave us insight on what a ‘gentleman vampire’ would truly look like and behave.
There are other characters and beings in this issue as well, raising questions on what will happen when different entities meet. The buildup and tension here is profound.
Sumit Kumar draws with exquisite details. It isn’t every day I read an issue and find myself going back to look at a page or two, but I did that here. (For those that are curious, it was a specific page showing Alain Pierrefont walking around that I loved so). A few panels were just so striking – they so perfectly captured the personality and elegance of the characters, that it was impossible to do anything but appreciate the work.
Vittorio Astone used these wonderfully rich colors to support Kumar’s lines. Every color is lush, even for objects that otherwise would have looked bland. Even the paper in the letters being written had a sense of depth to it. It was brilliantly done.
Aditya Bidikar did the lettering, and I feel compelled to comment on how perfectly fitting all of his choices were. There were three main fonts used – four if you count the letters portrayed within the comics itself (I don’t know who was responsible for that lettering, but if I had to guess I’d say Bidikar). All three fonts were distinct. Two were clearly marked as letters of correspondence – the series way of showing internal thoughts and concerns. And the last naturally was for speaking. All three were distinct and different but flowed together perfectly.
These Savage Shores #1 was an immediately entertaining and enthralling read. I’m lucky to have the second issue waiting here for me to read, as I don’t think I’d like to wait for it to come out. I was captivated by the telling from the start. The clashing cultures and beings combined with the time period left a sense of what was to come, as well as an overwhelming feeling of foreboding.
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