It’s the turn of Septagon studios latest release “Archeologists of Shadows“to face the scrutiny of our independent publishing investigation.
Time to look again at a great small press publication available across different mediums.This time,I investigate a comic by Septagon Studios,Archeologists Of Shadows.
Archeologists of Shadows,written by Lara Fuentes & drawn by Patricio Clarey, is a visually arresting title to say the least.Set in cyber-enhanced world where almost everyone & everything is mechanical;similar to the towering,bureaucratic steam punk landscape of manga,Jing:King Of Theives.In this oppressive,cluttered world are Baltimo & Alix,a couple who have spent their entire lives on a train with no destination which endlessly circles the cities of this unhappy reality.
Baltimo & Alix are different from the usual “files” on their domain who have been stripped of all their human components,because Baltimo & Alix want to remain organic.It’s this desire of their’s to stay relatively human & resist enforced mechanization,that makes up the comic’s central story, the realization of their dilemma(become entirely robotic or face being interned to the mysterious Saint Peter)is our introduction to the tale.As they traverse their world so do we,as the couple encounter new characters we ask the same questions they do,will these new introductions help & if so,what is their incentive?
One group who may be able to help Baltimo & Alix are the titular shadowy Archeologists.This resistance group believe the couple may be the voices or “Alter Ego’s” of the old gods,as mentioned in the book of references;but is this true & if it is,what does it mean for the pair?
It sounds like a complicated story but really it’s not.Told in short chapter form,the plot is instantly accessible.This style of story telling places you right in the thick of the plot but does so such a manner that you don’t feel like you’ve missed anything,there’s no years of continuity that you have to catch up with,the action is happening now & you are very much a part of it.Archeologists of Shadows would be very much at home in an anthology comic such as 2000AD & it’s british 2000AD artist Clint Langley’s 3d,photo-fabricated style that I liken this comic’s art to.
One thing I dislike about the aforementioned Clint Langley’s art sometimes,however,are his people.He seems to use the same models again & again.No such problems with Patricio Clarey’s photo-manipulation-fantasy art in Archeologists Of Shadows;the people,or “files”,are all purely figments of a raucous imagination,with various photographic elements blended into their appearance.Patricio explains his artistic inspiration for the book:
“The origin of the style that AOS would adopt came up when I took pictures of all the objects of my bathroom, and I made a PhotoShop composition with them that achieved amazing results. I got an illustration with a near 3D-effect and with a textural level of definition that I’d never gotten before. So, just to be sure that it wasn’t a fluke, I took pictures of every metallic object in the house in order to make three other compositions with the same style. The results were some of the best illustrations that I’d made up until then, and turned into a completely new style for me.”
Let’s take a look at some of Patricio’s character designs for the project.
(You can see more of Patricio’s art for ‘Archeologists on his deviantArt page.)
Published by Septagon Studios,an independent publisher concentrating on diverse titles,Archeologists of Shadows is an ambitious project,yet not one that over reaches;it’s ambition works.Now would be a great time to investigate as the team have finished the first volume & the second is imminent.The first installment is available across most comic buying mediums including Amazon Kindle & on apps like Graphicaly or for iBooks.If you would like to read a preview,you can,it’s available as a webcomic at the Archeologists of Shadows site,you really should take a look,you will be impressed.trust me!Here’s a sneak peek & a fantastic city-scape that encapsulates the feel of the book.