We take a look at volume 1 of Scales and Scoundrels a fantasy series about a group of treasure hunters that has found a new home and lease of life thanks to its re-release at TKO Studios.
Scales and Scoundrels follows the journey of Luvander, a young woman wandering through the world seeking any path she can find towards adventure and treasure. However, when she learns of the mythical treasure of Dened Lewen, the usually solitary Lu finds herself joining forces with the Dwarven Dorma seeking her brother and the means to provide for her family, the human Prince Aki who seeks adventure to prove his future reign and Aki’s bodyguard, Koro, who seeks to do her duty. However, as these unlikely companions embark on their journey, Lu learns of the dragons who may dwell deep in their destination, forcing her to consider revealing her own deep dark secret.
Sebastian Girner has produced a genuinely engrossing read within the almost 500 pages of Scales and Scoundrels two volumes. The story is quite contradictory as it imbues a sense of epic-ness to it while also feeling incredibly personal. The latter of which is down to the fantastic writing of the characters and their personalities. Main character Luvander, in particular, is a remarkably intriguing character as she initially comes across as a selfish and egotistical loner. However, this apparent veil gradually falls aways as the character is revealed to be a lot kinder than she tries to exhibit. This begs the question as to why she hides this latter persona.
Meanwhile, the other members of Luvander’s party are equally compelling and, while each feels very mismatched to their companions, they all bring something to the table to balance the group nicely. As a result, Girner builds this story on the group dynamic and their respective (mostly) positive personalities, giving it a real sense of hope and optimism.
Of course, Scales and Scoundrels has its problems, which particularly relates to its pacing as it feels very up and down. As a result, this makes the series feel a lot longer than it maybe should be. However, this shouldn’t take away from the fact that when it’s good, it is REALLY good.
Meanwhile, the art by Galaad perfectly resonates the positive, fun and upbeat tone of the story throughout, even at its darker moments. With pencils which are reminiscent of 7String and colours which have a vibe similar to Songs for the Dead, the title does initially come across as simplistic and maybe a little childlike. However, it is these characteristics which work nicely to help give Scales and Scoundrels its wholly optimistic vibe.
While maybe not an original creation in their back catalogue (it was formerly available via Image Comics), Scales and Scoundrels is nevertheless a real coup for TKO. Fun, witty and overall optimistically gorgeous to look at, Sebastian Girner and Galaad’s fantasy epic Is a terrific read. If there is any treasure to be sought, it is this title.