It’s a fantasy epic that follows a ragtag group of soldiers who discover that “the war they have been fighting was never theirs to fight . . . [and] decide to set out for home. Unfortunately, that becomes an entirely new battle. Not only are the fugitives confronting various forms of land, and danger, but also the six very different souls within their group.” The story follows a young Mage’s apprentice named Dazanorl Greyshine who sets out on an urgent quest for his master. The stakes intensify when Dazanorl realizes that he’s being followed by a powerful being, long banished from the earth, called a Sovrin, who has inexplicably returned and now threatens the lives of the young Mage apprentice and everyone around him.
Billed as a multimedia comic saga, The Damned Meanderers isn’t technically a motion comic, and in my opinion that’s a good thing. When experiencing this story, you can see that McGrane, who created, wrote, and illustrated it, wanted to keep it fundamentally a comic, favoring the use of word bubbles over actors reading the dialogue. He has also added cinematic music, sound effects in addition to the lettered sound effects and panel movement, and focus shifts to heighten the reading experience. Despite what he was aiming for, Meanders, unfortunately, like those that came before, never quite reaches its full potential, suffering for its rare, but glaring, spelling and grammar errors. The graphics also once glitched in its page-to-page mechanics, so that I couldn’t read one word bubble because it disappeared too fast, no matter how many times I went back and reinitiated it.
All in all, The Damned Meanderers is a wonderfully inventive experiment, that raises the bar of what a digital comic can be. You can check out all the chapters at www.damnedmeanderers.com.