Ecru: The Butcher of Balis and Menel: The Spirit of Adonai (Particle 9 – Grieshop / Newton / Henry / Stevens / Spade / Candy)
In this introductory story to the universe of Ecru, the odds are stacked high against Aria Cheylon, Ecru’s heroine. As the ashes of her former life still smolder on the hills of colonial Balis, Aria pits herself against an entire garrison of E.M.O.D. soldiers to defend the helpless survivors on the tiny world
Before the beginning there was great warring in the heavens. An enemy of terrible power fell as a morning star to a world called Menel carving a path of destruction in its wake. The Spirit of Adonai chronicles the prologue of the main story arc of Menel, and has been written, penciled, colored, and designed by Chasen Grieshop with additional color support by Carly Spade.
This is the second year that I have gotten to meet some of the creators behind Particle 9 out on the convention circuit. This is one independent
production company that has their hands busy… comics, film, photography, web design… simply put, they have a lot going on!
Their comics are primarily a sci-fi / fantasy campaign set over the course of several world and in at least two distinct eras. It is obvious that much thought and detail work went into planning what could be a very epic set of stories. Right now though, after reading the two intro books, it’s tough to figure out which is the main time frame and which is the follow-up material. It’s almost seems like neither are back-up material and that fans are supposed to jump into both eras and embrace what is going on.
And while both stories are well-written and well-thought out the art is better. The art explodes at you, brilliant colors and layouts hold you captivated throughout these preview books. Every piece about the visual end of these books is out of sight! It’s just Particle 9 is a very young publishing house with probably not that wide of a fanbase. This sort of multiple era-embrace has so far only been successful with setting that have a set of die-hard fans (i.e., Star Wars, Star Trek). So while it’s obvious P9 has the talent, it’s going to be tough to get new fans on board with this independent set of series. The “where do I jump in?” question will not be the only thing that keeps fans from jumping on the P9 shuttle. Each one of these preview issues, when you take away the advertising were only ten pages each with price tags of $3.99 and $4.99 each. Ouch!!! No doubt about it, even with the feminine wiles of the talented and gorgeous Carly Spade at their booth, it’s a very tough sell.
From what I have seen, a collected coffee table hardcover of P9 art, short stories and photos would go over very well, at least better than overprices preview issues.