White Ash

White Ash
Writer: Charles Stickney
Artist/Lettering: Conor Hughes
Colorist: Fin Cramb

Buy it HERE.

Made the big money!

This was huge on Kickstarter. 1,350 backers and nearly $60K in funding. Charles Stickney's a major force in his Scout Comics brand, becoming a large entity in the comics field in a matter of just a few years. There was a lot of talk about this comic as well, not just through Kickstarter but from Scout Comics fans and White Ash fans. This comic was originally serialized in 6 chapters sold through shops nationwide.


So for me to add my two cents about White Ash I have to get out of the way the supernatural aspect. There's dwarves, elves, 'the brood', as well as mention of a dragon's blood and a connection to the Tree of Life borrowed from Norse Mythology. Plunked directly into this backdrop is Aleck Zwerg, a young guy leaving his white trash working class mill town life in Pennsylvania to go off to college.

The two aspects of this story collude rather soon with a mine explosion. Aleck's father, a mine worker was a victim they pulled out of the wreck. He has to stay in town until his father's health is regained. There is also Lillian, a rich girl who is interested in Aleck's comings and goings. Her father owns the mine.

Aleck learns he's half dwarf, as in Lord of the Rings Gimli dwarf. Lillian's an elf. White Ash plays on that conflict for a bit as the two of them battle an evil force that came along when the mine exploded.

White Ash is a solid story.

The artwork is a very high caliber -especially in the first few pages. It does flag a little and degrades to 'quickie hand off' style that belongs more in brochures and one panel joke cartoons. That was a bit of a disappointment. You can tell this was written first then drawn for the reason of all the talking and interplay of language between characters.

But let me explain.

White Ash suffers a bit from Charles Stickney's over indulgence of explanation: the structure of there being Dwarves, Elves, etc. We get to know how long they live, their weaponry, their strengths and weaknesses. It's almost as if the information here is to better inform you for role playing. As Aleck progresses in his character arc he gets all the aspects of his supernatural upbringing described in minute detail.

Did White Ash need all that? I don't know. I thought the hidden aspect of the supernatural seemed more interesting (as in it's not what you do know it's what you don't). Like say, if three or four weird things are happening, and you get an explanation for only two, the other stuff leaves you hanging, but in a good way.

Next Tuesday:

More on White Ash: its artwork!

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