Remanence (Ridgefell Comics)
God of Comics. God. God.
We’ve discussed the idea behind the name of this series of articles before: it’s a play on Wednesday, which is both named for the Norse God Odin and is the day on which new comics hit the market. I know about some comics and read plenty, but I’m still going to my local comic store to get intel on new stuff – and Pete, Dee, Jenna, and Rynn turn me onto new stuff all the time. I don’t know everything and never claimed to; this was a title that was meant to be clever.
As we’ve progressed, however, we’ve branched into other means within the medium. We’ve covered web comics, motion comics, fan comics, comic strips, comic magazines, pretty much anything that can reasonably be called a comic. This is going to be a weird one, though, because I’m pretty sure we’ve never covered a self-published comic before.
Remanence is the work of Ridgefell Comics, a self-published entity based in Vancouver, British California, in Canada. They rented a booth at the North Vancouver Night Market and were selling their wares and I picked up three issues of for, I think, twenty dollars. The cover art was intriguing and the promise of a detailed magic system sounded interesting, as I love me some deep mythology.
I’ve read all three comics. I have no idea how the magic system works but I’m still interested, because the heart of this comic is in political and religious intrigue set in a fantasy world where high magic exists and has a tentative truce with the church, the merchant’s guild, and the nobility, who are also all sort of sniping at one another. The king is dead, an ambitious son took over, and a daughter much better suited to rulership went and became a mage instead. Also, there’s a war on.
All of that in three issues. This is dense storytelling, with a lot going on in very few pages. The characters are likable and varied, certainly flawed but driven. You can understand where they’re coming from and why they’re suffering the way they are, be it the princess that gave up everything for magic or the young boy that whose family was killed by guardsmen and was rescued by a stranger. These characters learn and grow and sometimes die before they can fully do either because there are some very heavy stakes here, whole nations at play.
The art does a good job of setting the tone of this world – the outlying and poorer regions have a different feel for clothing and weight than the high powered inner cities, the guilds and powers that be all having their own unique looks that are hinted at rather than explained. This works to the story’s benefit, as we are given just enough to follow along without being bogged down in detail, though this world seems rich enough that it’d benefit from a video game-like scanning system: the sort of thing where you rest a cursor over an image and learn more.
Credits are, oddly, hard to come by – someone going by HT or Pch is the writer and creator, depending upon if you’re looking in the comic or on their website. Art is by Jon Kutzer, with colors by C.L. Zhao or Y. Cakra. Who are they outside of this? Who knows? The mystery is part of what sells the comic, really, as it becomes a question of where this comic came from or how it exists.
Ridgefell Comics only has this one property in development, but you can learn somewhat about them by clicking here or read their first prologue issue by clicking here. You can find them at shows and in strange booths that may vanish suddenly at markets and conventions all around the west coast, apparently, like some sort of weird mystical faerie thing that exists only to bring you this comic.
So, uh, make sure you’re carrying cold iron when and if you nab a copy. We’re not saying they’re otherworldly beings or anything, but it would explain a lot. You have been warned.