Review: Kia Wordsmith (Accent UK)

Accent UK are well known for bringing us an eclectic range of comics such as Wolfmen or Western Noir. We take a look at Kia Wordsmith, which Accent successfully Kickstarter last year, and wherein writer Dave West unleashes an idea years in the making (with help from artist Ian Ashcroft) about a young woman attempting to find her place in a world on the brink of war.

Publisher: Accent UK
Writer: Dave West
Artist: Ian Ashcroft
Price: TBC

Kia Wordsmith tells the story of Kia Sula, a young woman from a majestic city where Science and Magic are used in synergy. However, in a world which is both peaceful but ever fearful of conflict, Kia is a restless soul attempting to both find her place while also gaining the approval soldier father. However, on a day that she takes to the roofs of the city to find peace and excitement, Kia encounters a famous thief making his way into a mystical but secretive temple. Dare she follow? And if she does, what wondrous and terrifying adventures await her?

This is an interesting title, that is made to work, primarily by the projection of its lead character. Kia is an intriguing person, if somewhat conflicted. Does she wish to fight or does she wish to write? Kia continues to flick back and forth on the decision of what she actually wishes to do with her life, seemingly always debating whether her life should be her own or one to please her father’s (supposed) wishes. However, despite the lead, the title seems very confusing. This first issue feels like it starts midway through the actual story, missing key information to produce a strong foundation to start from or a real direction for the story to move in.

The art, on the other hand is considerably stronger, coming across as being the lynchpin of the title. Ian Ashcroft’s unique art is really hauntingly beautiful, making the books appearance very reminiscent of Ben Dewey’s work on the Autumnlands. What’s the real highlight here though is Ashcroft’s almost photographic depiction of the people and creatures of this world. So great his grasp of anatomy appears to be, that Kia herself has some real beauty and elegance in her movement. This movement is best seen as Kia transcends through the air from rooftop to rooftop.

Like a lot of Accent’s books, Kia Wordsmith is an interesting, albeit slightly flawed title. While it’s story does struggle to find its footing, the characterisation of it’s lead coupled with it’s trull fantastical artwork, makes this something worthy of a look. As the issue ends and questions are formed and left unanswered, if the story can grow on these, this could turn out to be a truly wonderful series indeed.