Lion Forge’s Bezkamp tells the story of the son of the most powerful warriors in the dystopian land known as Bezkamp. Everyone abides by the same rules and relies on rituals and fighting to sustain their community. We follow our hero Nem, who doesn’t want to follow in his family’s footsteps and become a warrior. He wants to discover and collect things, but creativity and learning is strictly forbidden and is a punishable offence. His family doesn’t care about his dreams and everything goes awry when his family tries to force being a warrior on him. He ventures out on his own to find a new way of life by learning some of the secrets to his barbaric civilization. This comic is an amazing story of exploration and discovery with a sci-fi twist filled with adventure and mystery.
A lot of times in a story that is as long as this comic was, the story drags on, and the plot is too drawn out, but this was not the case. The story was intriguing and the characters were very relatable teenagers that did not showcase any of the typical stereotypes that are usually found in portrayals of teens in a lot of books and movies. As a teenager, it is difficult to find a comic that is truly relatable and showcases the struggles that teens deal with regarding family and finding themselves. Nem is a great leader who takes on the role of an underdog, and it was very easy to root for him. So this isn’t only a great dystopian mystery thriller, it is a surprisingly relatable teen adventure. Samuel Sattin really put an amazing twist on the typical comics that have come out recently. Although this would appeal to the teenage audience, I would also recommend it for older readers who enjoy a great sci-fi story.
Besides being able to reach the teenage audience so well, the overall plot is very interesting and pulls the reader in. There have been plenty of dystopian civilizations in pop culture, but the way that the civilization is set up and the way the characters act truly sets it apart from anything I have ever read before. Each of the characters speak in such a way that really shows where they are and the influence their surroundings have had on them. I liked that one of the main events that drives the plot is that there is a “corruption” disease that is spreading to the people. Sattin gives a similar vibe to that of a zombie apocalypse. If you want to learn more about the story and the writer behind it you can check out his site HERE. I give Bezkamp a 4 in the categories of uniqueness and writing.
Now this story would not have the impact that it does without the help of the very talented Illustrator and artist Jen Hickman. You can find her art and more on her website. The story was very strong by itself, but without her incredible illustrations it would not be the same. The main color schemes in the comic consist of pinks and turquoise. I thought that was an interesting choice to use, but it really showed the differences between each section of the comic. As I continue my internship, I have really discovered that I can learn a lot about any artist through his or her choices in a comic. For example, in this comic, I could really tell what she was trying to convey: powerful people thrown into situations that reflect who they will become. The contrasts in colors and tones showcase each of the character’s personalities and their intentions. I absolutely love the art in this comic and will be checking out more from Hickman in the future. I give the overall art a 4/4.
With all of this being said, I must say that I was a little disappointed in the cover art for Bezkamp. The art in the story conveys so much, and I felt like the cover really doesn’t live up to the talent shown in the actual comic. It shows Nes, but it seemed basic and was not that memorable. I give the cover a 2.
Overall, this was one of the most creative and unique stories/comics I have read in a very long time. The plot was gripping and constantly twisting and turning. The characters were relatable and interesting. The setting really controlled the story and drove the plot and themes home. Incredible work from Sattin, Hickman, and the team at Lion Forge.