Heya folks, Fenrir here with another exciting addition of “Give it a Shot!” where we get to gush about things you probably never heard about! (Until now!) For this week’s addition, Starshine and I are here to let you convince you to try out some enlightening reading material in both physical book and webcomic form! (Woo!)
I Am the Messenger
Every so often, a piece of entertainment falls into your life that completely changes your life. Then there’s those things that you can return to at many different points in your life and find it relates to new and challenging aspects of your life. This book falls somewhere in between. I Am the Messenger (also known as The Messenger) is a novel by Markus Zusak, about a young Australian man named Ed Kennedy, whose down on his luck, in a dead end job and going nowhere. Suddenly, he receives playing cards in the mail with places and locations, forcing Ed out into the world and becoming a force in many people’s lives. This book was poignant when I was 16 and reading it for the first time, when I was jaded about the cruelty of people and wondering just what would do with my life. It’s poignant now at 21 when I’m feeling lost and knowing I have no clue what do with my life, other than wanting to write for a living. It’ll probably be poignant until I actually find a position in life where I’m content, and maybe not even then. While this is author is best known for Book Thief, I feel this is his best, and most inspiring work. If you want a good read, this would be my number one pick. If you need a good read or just in the mood for something new, give this a shot.
Those of you who once followed Tokyo Pop’s “Rising Stars of Manga” contest might recognize the vivid art-style of Ashley Cope and her runner-up entry, Chibi Zombies. Fortunately she’s branched off and expanded on her own flourishing style and story to create the whimsical and invigorating world of Unsounded. As writer and artist, Ashely Cope has full reign of her story which is an epic fantasy that segues into the profane, the horrific, and the doofy — all melded together with a rich story and — once again — an exciting, fluid art-style that brings her cast of characters to life.
Readers follow the misadventures of one Sette Frummagem, the daughter of the Lord of Thieves, out to collect a cut that has been long denied her cutthroat father. She’s a spunky, pint-sized girl on a mission who is not afraid to lie, and cheat, and steal her way towards success (As if she wasn’t planning on doing that anyway). Accompanying her on this misadventure is the unfortunate Duane, a mysterious undead figure who is a talented spell-caster but a poor baby-sitter and voice-of-reason for the ill-mannered Sette. Together they will embark on a journey that is much more than shaking down another crime lord for cash, but instead these two unlikely partners will be pit against kidnappers, organ harvesters, and other more unsavory sorts — all while around them the world prepares for war.
Unsounded is a high caliber fantasy webcomic — not only is its story quite solid, but it is also one of the well-designed comics I’ve seen so far; Ashley Cope certainly has an eye for color and form as well as for story and characters. It’s also a relatively long-running webcomic, so there are several arcs to pump through if you’re new to Unsounded, and they certainly do not disappoint — pulling you into a world of epic, well-thought-out fantasy that honestly keeps one hungry for more. So definitely give this webcomic a shot if you’re up for a riveting adventure with gorgeous art to back it up!