To help develop his world building skills, writer artist Mark Penman decided to start creating short stories rather than one single epic adventure. He has released the results under the Eimurian Tales banner as awesome webcomics, telling very different, but still connected, stories. we take a look at the first two chapters of these intriguing tales.
Publisher: M.D Penman
Writer: M. D. Penman
Artist: M. D. Penman
Price: Free at www.eimuriantales.co.uk
Mark Penman’s webcomic Eimurian Tales offers readers two very different stories. First there is Waterbringer, wherein a King whose Kingdom is under siege succumbs to a form of madness which is corrupting his subjects. While his young daughter embarks on an escape from her home to avoid her Mother’s grim fate with the help of her faithful protector; the being known as the Waterbringer.
The second story is The Shattered which follows the story of a young boy from a broken home who encounters, and subsequently tries to protect, a Shadir, a elvish like creature from another world whose race are continually feared for a war which had long since passed.
With these two differing ‘Eimurian Tales’ on offer, Penman provides an enjoyable reading experience, regardless of which one is read first, with both appearing to be set in the same world despite their differences. Waterbringer is a fun, action heavy story which really works well at telling an entertaining story. That said, it is the weaker of the two tales as it’s pacing can feel a little uneven during the fight sequences (such as the first fight with the King’s champion), as well as the plot seemingly missing some essential exposition, particularly surrounding the mysterious Waterbringer.
The Shattered, on the other hand is a much stronger and far more compelling read despite it’s current, incomplete status. This story, while a lot less action heavy, comes off as a little more of a mystery/intrigue story mixed with more of a coming of age feel as lead character Malwynn attempts to connect and help his mysterious new friend while also understanding how they came to be here and also dealing with the demons which plague his life. As a result, this story feels much more relatable as well as providing a lot more context regarding the characters involved, giving it a more complete story.
Of course, when it comes to the artwork, both Waterbringer and The Shattered excel in their presentation. Penman’s art is truly beautiful throughout, with the style giving off a very Manga vibe, although a hint of Sarah (Heart of Time) Millman’s pencil style also bleeds through. That said, Penman really uses the monochrome colouring terrifically, with the shadows in The Shattered specifically giving these tales a very Sin City look in places and really helping with the atmosphere. Again, The Shattered’s artwork comes across as superior to that used on Waterbringer, as panels there are a little confusing in terms of their specific layouts and unusual character positions. Overall though, the art is breathtaking as it perfectly conveys both stories with little need for dialogue, which tends to disappear for many pages at a time, as well as some phenomenal full page scenes which perfectly showcase the artist’s talent.
While it’s by no means perfect, Eimurian Tales is a truly terrific webcomic with a fantasy feel in keeping with, and pulling from, classics like Lords of the Rings and Narnia. With such great art, as well as some obviously improving writing, this is a webcomic which keep its readers enthralled, no matter how many stories it offers.