So I got home on Friday after a day of trying to print up newsletters with a printer that repeatedly broke down. I sat down to read some comics and soon found the NetSky worm ignoring the anti-spyware and anti-virus programs as it gleefully sank its teeth into the computer. Where malware is concerned, what you don’t know stands a really good chance of hurting you.
This, of course, applies to most transactions in a magical world, such as the setting of Finder’s Keepers, by Garth Cameron Graham. The world of FK teems with all the myths and legends (and leches) that mankind can dream up . . . and a good portion of them are lethal.
The story follows Cailyn Asher, a jill-of-all-trades who finds that a few words spoken in anger have made her the keeper of Lord Cardinal, Aspect of Finding. And for reasons unknown, both of them are being hunted by agents of the Void. Their quest to figure out what all this means (and thus release Cardinal from Cailyn’s keeping) has brought them rather literally to Death’s doorstop, and things only look to be getting more difficult from there.
The art is nothing short of professional. Graham cut his webcomic teeth working on Comedity, a pseudo-journal comic with a very slick look, and has taken his style to print-comic levels of pizzazz. And he’s spent as much time designing backgrounds and props as he’s spent on figure drawing. (Alas, lechery happens, but it’s over with quickly enough.)
The writing is enjoyable, although the pacing is maybe a little too far on the quick side. In just shy of three chapters and a prologue, Cailyn and Cardinal have been through multiple chase scenes, combat, possible hostage situations, a leisurely tea, two near-death lacerations, a good bit of exposition about the world beyond the veil, and more UST than you can shake a euphemism at.
In all, FK has a certain air of Alice in Wonderland about it, except Alice is more belligerent than naive, the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat are hardbodies, and the Queen of Hearts is even more mannish. If you like your fantasy dark with a side of silly, you’ll probably enjoy it.
Comic Rating: One heck of a concealed weapons permit.