Magic has always been a big part of British fiction, with all mediums depicting any mysterious goings on as more sorcery than science, mostly relating to the legend of Camelot. Now Dan Harris of Lou Scannon adds his own take to both aspects with Druid Investigations, a story about sorcerers vanquishing evil in modern day Britain. Is this a title which can conjure up success or will it be in need of some serious abra cadabra?
Publisher: Attic Studios
Writer: Dan Harris
Artist: Dan Harris (art), HdE (Letterer)
Price: £1.50 digital edition from Attic Studios website
Druid Investigations begins its story in present day Wales, fifteen hundred years after the fall of King Arthur and the end of magic, where hapless hero Killian Turner, fresh from the breakup with girlfriend Bec, begins another unimpressive day in his unimpressive job, eager to do something more. However, that something more presents itself when, on the way home from a night drinking, Killian stumbles across a scene he thought impossible; as a group of magic users battle a dragon in an alley, led by a man who may just be the great Merlin himself.
This is a title which, above all other things, is an incredibly fun one which despite it’s slightly epic concept maintains a light, humorous tone throughout. With Druid Investigations, creator Dan Harris introduces us to a very charismatic lead in Killian Turner, who gives off a sense of charm despite his somewhat hapless, dorky nature. This is most apparent during the his introduction (where he sports a sweet Moon easter egg), his interaction with his colleagues during and outside his job and finally the discovery of his extra appendage. Unfortunately, Killian’s focus aside, this opening issue suffers from a standard expedition problem as very little else maintains a great deal of focus and the first half of the book feels a little slow in pace. However, as an opening issue it certainly picques interest enough for future installments where greater world depth may happen.
As for the art, Harris’ double duty certainly helps the book as he matches the art tone to that of the writing, making everything easy on the eye. The panels throughout this issue imbue a real style similar to Red Mask from Mars (which itself gets little easter egg), lightening up the book and enhancing that sense of Druids being a wacky, fun book above all else, as best seen during the monster battle. However, unlike Red Mask, the colours are a little more pastel like and tempered which, far from being a flaw, suits the entire book perfectly, really giving the title its own unique look as something a little more subtle.
Despite, its slow pace early on, Druid Investigations #1 recovers to give readers a truly enjoyable read which will undoubtedly springboard into a fantastic ongoing story. With light art and a fully-formed, lovable lead character, Dan Harris’ Druid Investigations is a book with enough magic contained within that it deserves a look.