‘Canto #1:’ Comic Book Review

Inspired by The Wizard of Oz, in Canto, we enter Arcadia, a land of tin slaves whose hearts are stolen from them and replaced with clocks. The goal? To chop wood and keep the fire burning until their clocks stop ticking. They are forbidden to do anything else, including having names and loving. But, one tin man has a name and loves others. His name is Canto, and this is the story of how he goes out to brave the unknown to save the person he loves and discover the truth of their lives.

Canto reminds me of those classic stories where the hero sets off on an adventure, against all odds, to save the person they love. In the middle of this personal quest is an adventure that changes the world they’ve known. It’s one with a sense of classic heroism, something that may be missing a bit from comics these days.

I definitely want to note this series' character designs and the background coloring. When I said that the series has that sense of classical storytelling, a lot of it has to do with how Canto and the other characters are drawn. When we’re first introduced to Canto’s love, we see her in relation to Canto himself. When we see the slavers and the Malorex, a beast from the forest, we see them as these big, hulking beings standing over them. We can understand the way they intimidate anyone that stands next to them. It’s the same way we understand how the tin men feel in relation to one another; they have subtle differences, but in a crowd, they all end up just blurring together.

All of this is to say that the character designs are some of the most unique and inspired that I have seen in recent comics. It helps that they feel as though they are inspired by some classic fantasy series, like Labyrinth and Oz. With many characters that look alike, it would be easy enough to excuse if there was any confusion about who was who. Fortunately for us, Drew Zucker’s artwork is on point and just lovely to look at. There are pages throughout that are amazing and would look fantastic on a wall as an art print. This would all be for naught if it weren’t for Vittorio Astone’s colors and how they add to the story itself.

I can’t say that I have a feeling of what’s going to happen in the story, but the fact that it’s inspired by some of the great fantasy series of our time ensures that we can expect this story to be something we will enjoy.


Creative Team: David M. Booher (writer), Drew Zucker (artist), Vittorio Astone (colors), Deron Bennett (letters), David Mariotte (editor)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
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