Death Vigil #1, published by Top Cow
Everything by Stjepan Sejic
Yes, those credits are right. Everything is by Stjepan Sejic. He came up with the concept then he wrote and illustrated it. I’ve been seeing his teaser pictures for a while on his deviantart account, and while it all looked pretty interesting I’ve been wondering how it would all tie together and what the finished package would be like. Well, issue 1 came out the other day, and being a fan of Mr. Sejic’s work on his adults-only online comic (Sunstone, which will apparently be published in the upcoming future by Top Cow), I figured I would plop down my $3.99 and give it a go.
First off, that $3.99 nets you 44 pages pages with no ads. That’s value, people!
As for the comic itself, well… it’s pretty damn fun actually. The story of the members of the Death Vigil, a group of supernatural powered folk who defend the Earth from the forces of darkness and the Necromancers who want to assist those forces. Of course so far we’ve only met a few of the Death Vigil: Sam (aka The Digger), who we meet dying on the first page, along with Bernadette (the Reaper, apparently in charge of the group), Hugin (The Raven), and Clara (who doesn’t have a nickname yet). We also get mentions of other members of the group, but they don’t make appearances in the first issue.
Obviously one of the big selling points of this title is going to be Sejic’s artwork, which is pretty great. There are few artists who can really convey people’s expressions as fluidly as he does, but he also does a great job of capturing movement. His otherworldly monsters also look pretty great, which is important in a horror/fantasy/dramedy like this. His colors are also very thought out and never overpower any of the pages.
If I have one quibble (and it’s a minor one) it’s his tendency to overdo it with the fancy word bubbles. Once or twice is interesting, but they can distract from the story by almost screaming “look at me, look at me” instead of doing what they’re supposed to do: convey the characters words. In the same way the balloon tales always have 3 or 4 curves or swirls to them can be distracting, because your eye follows the line and causes a brief disconnect from the character’s dialogue.
As I said, it’s a minor thing and you do get used to it, but it may take a bit of time.
Issue 1 does a very good job of introducing a lot of plot elements and setting the world for the reader, no doubt helped by having a larger page count than your typical first issue. I am looking forward to seeing how the story continues from here.