JIRNI #1. ASPEN COMICS are celebrating the first decade of their existence! And this is one installment that they should be extremely proud of in my opinion as both a comic, and fantasy fan. The creators of this gem have hit the nail BANG! On the head when it comes to fantasy, self discovery, and various mythological-concepts, with this exciting adventure concentrating mostly on the d’jinn, mostly aladdin’s-lamp type stuff; but an entirely original tale that will have you wrapped up in it’s beauty and it’s more mature approach to a childhood fantasy adventure! I was intrigued with the title –JIRNI-, which is a play on the word journey, and as writer J.T Krul explains in the detailed pages to the back of this issue, is not just that but also a philosophy of sorts, that stands for everything the comic represents, namingly each of the character’s personal journeys through life, their high’s and low’s and right’s and wrong’s etc etc. The thought that has gone into this comic is more than evident to me as the reader, and I applaud all those involved in it’s creation.
I’m honoured to receive this first issue, with thanks to A place in space! The legend that is JIRNI starts in an amazon-like setting, deep in the jungle a tribe of savage predators are skinning their prey, as the daughter of the tortured victim watches the gruesome ordeal through blurry tear drowned eyes. The heroin –xena meets mystical genie meets Aladdin’s Jasmine– with her humongous bust and purple skin, goes by the name of Ara. She flies in to rescue the girl and her father, swinging her Arabian sword in a war dance like no other, slicing and dicing her way through the savage hoard and laying them all out without even batting an eyelash!
The girl’s father dies and Ara shows her softer, more sensitive side by allowing her to travel with her. Whilst on the road, Ara opens up to the girl, giving us an all important flashback of her life, we soon come to realise that she is searching for an evil sorcerer named Torinthal who stole her mother from her, to find her mother and ultimately discover who and what she truly is… On top of that Torinthal has in his possession the lamp containing the all powerful d’jinn (or genie) named Anjaha, I especially like this part of the comic as it shows us how powerful both Anjaha is as a genie, but more importantly how dangerous Torinthal is as Ara’s arch nemesis.
This has everything you would hope for in a first issue, it opens the series with all the character background’s needed to lay the foundations, and puts the focus on each of their personal journeys, telling us the story in an exciting and interesting way, which stays true to it’s mythological roots.
Thanks to Paolo Pantalena and Brett smith we have some beautiful artwork, the slick and mystical, yet very precise sty-lings help tell the tale in the intended nature, as does the bold lettering by Josh Reed. The colouring, I have to say, is sublime! And the choices in colour are the perfect match to the story in the sense of place and time, I am made to feel as though I’m watching the prince of Persia, or something similar! The comic’s cover was the ideal choice and again, the artwork is stunning! The overall timing of the comic and it’s discreet and creative panelling give us a steady and fluent pace to follow, making this comic all the more enjoyable to read from start to finish!
By DYLAN MONTU BUTCHER 😀