Marc Adona’s Wandering Vagrants is one of the more humorous indie comics I have read in quite some time. I read this book right around the time I was trying to get past DC’s Convergence and while I am still wrapping my head around Marvel’s Secret Wars. Quite frankly, I have always felt that when you have so many heavy comics dropping, you need a light-hearted book to break it all up.
The plot has to do with 3 strangers, Kazo, Ella, and Enzo, who are brought together because of a curse as they wander the land trying to find a way to break said curse. It turns out that the 3 of them were individually trying to steal an object from a master wizard. The wizard confronts them and during the fight these 3 strangers team up to defeat him. In his last breath, the wizard curses them to stay together for eternity. Then they learn the hard way what that means.
The story itself and how it’s told has so many influences that in many hands it could be easily ruined. Marc deftly uses those elements along with his art to put this tale together. The story itself is told in a world where one can expect the unexpected such as magic, guns, and the occasional dinosaur. What I loved most about this 1st arc is that it starts off quickly as the trio goes from one conflict to another similar to some anime cartoons. Looking at the art style you can see the anime influence as well. Also, similar to comics like Chew, Marc uses some visual humorous cues as well. One example to keep an eye on is Ella’s eye patch and how it occasionally changes with her mood. Within the first 50 pages, you have drinking contests, botched executions, witches cooking up craziness in the woods and more.
As to the art itself, I really liked how Marc doesn’t overdo certain pages in lots of differing colors that clash. He makes great usage of primaries that gets the story told. If it’s a fight scene, he uses bright colors to show the action, if it’s a more subdued scene he uses blacks, grays and greens and so on. Nothing gets wasted with his artwork.
The only complaints I have are that readers will have to read nearly the 1st half of the book to find out what caused the curse in the first place. Now, I see why it fit in the way that it did and with the way the story is structured, I am fine with it considering the brisk pace of the story. I only wished it had occurred earlier. The only other one I have is with Ella’s dialogue. While she is a strong and surly character throughout the book (see the seduction scene by the way!!! HAHAHA) the ‘I hate humans’ mantra started to wear a bit thin. I really want to see more from her as I sense there is potential for her to be the best liked character of the three.
All in all, this is a fun book. It’s a book where every other page holds a surprise as you wonder how much deeper these burgeoning friends can dig themselves into a hole and more to the point of how will they get out. Again this book reminds me so much of other materials like The Legend of Lodoss Wars, Rat Queens, and much more. I can only image what will happen later when they face off against the villain who sent them on their journey which brought them together. Marc Adona has put together such a fun and funny book that even kids of most ages can enjoy. So, please in the middle of all the strife and angst of the books the Big Two are putting out this year, stop and grab this one as well.
If you want to order this book, click here for the website or catch Marc at the next con!
3 Falling Master Wizards out of 5.