Written by Kristine Chester, Fanboy Comics Senior Contributor
Thursday, 13 December 2012 05:11
Chadhiyana is a mythological story about a warrior woman in the ancient Middle East, where she travels from town to town, saving people and battling monsters. You know, the usual.
Chadhiyana captures the feeling of an uncovered legend perfectly. Everything from the art style to the writing made me think of Greek myths and tales like Beowulf. The writing avoids the usual trick of having a narrator, but the characters achieve that same style of a bard through their dialogue, describing everything in flowery language and explaining the history behind things, which perfectly matched the tone without crowding the pages. This introductory piece is divided into two separate stories that are more snapshots than full tales, but they do a great job of showing what's cool about the character and even manage to slip in some hooks about some of her other adventures that I'm dying to learn about.
The art uses exaggeration to great effect. A starving woman might appear so skeletal that she looks like she's going to fall apart. A greedy husband is decked out in jewels with a huge belly. And, injuries; don't get me started on injuries. I'm a fan of Chadhiyana's character design; she's quite muscular and developed as you'd expect an actual female warrior to be, not to Superman proportions or a delicate woman to appeal to femininity's unachievable standards. The art is colored in a textured watercolor style that makes the comic look like a recovered scroll or piece of art from the era, and does a lot for achieving the tone of the book; however, the team may have done their jobs too well, for I found the sound effects in this book distracting and kind of silly compared to the rest of the set-up. Seeing a red exclamation point or the word “SHOOM” during what would otherwise look like a recovered artifact brought me out of the story and made me think, “Oh, right, this is a comic book.”
Chadhiyana is currently available to order at IndyPlanet.com. The link can also be found at the creator's website, www.jmdesantis.com, along with links to other publications, including some Chadhiyana prints.