This book is a charming comic with wonderful art and a simple story that is accessible to all ages and even non-comic readers. The comic really feels more like a children’s book more than anything else and because of that I think that its reach will go beyond that of just comic readers. Personally, I just loved the art work and the fact that it’s presented in just the pencil work. I’ve only really witnessed that with one other comic and that’s Blade of the Immortal.
The story takes place on an Ark much like Noah’s. It’s not clear that it is Noah’s considering there’s acknowledgement of other Ark’s, but it’s not an important part of this first issue. Aesop is the lone lion on the ship, but he is sought out for his wisdom and allegories. One day a turtle comes to ask for his help in saving her husband. It seems that a leak sprung up on the ship and a salamander stuck his tail into the hole to plug it. When a second leak popped up her husband the turtle plugged the hole with his tail, but the salamander was able to break its tail and leave while the turtle found himself stuck. None of their neighbors that share the area seem to want to help and think that the hole the turtle is stopping isn’t that big of a deal. Aseop gives the turtle a story to tell the others that may help them see the error of their ways.
The story was very good and even though the allegory was a bit messed up; it still fit the book very well. The lion was a great character with personality that was caring and yet bored. It was easy to tell that Aseop helps the others on the ship mostly out of boredom and not just his kindness. Being that the story is contained on a ship for the most part, it should be interesting to see how it progresses and stays interesting.
My only gripe with the art is that the allegory didn’t need to be colored as it broke the flow of the story completely and changed the way the art looked. Considering the backgrounds and characters are completely different you’ll have to actually study the art to tell it’s the same artist. Otherwise, the art was fantastic and very eye catching. Even though the rest of the story is just pencil work it’s easy to follow and very interesting to look at.
Out of the five books released from MonkeyBrain I score this one pretty high. It also has the biggest challenge ahead of it as it will need to find a way to keep the book interesting without following the exact formula from this issue. Even if the story dips in quality the art is great enough to lift it up on its own. If you’re looking to spend a dollar on a new comic then you should definitely check this book out. Also it was a nice touch naming the lion Aesop as it fits the origin of the name quite well.
Writer: J. Torres
Artist: Jennifer L. Meyer
Publisher: MonkeyBrain Comics
Release Date: 7/2/12