Songs for the Dead #1 (Necromancer Press)
Necromancers get a bad rap.
It’s that whole death thing. People get weirded out by it, scared by it. The inescapable knowledge that, someday, you will die. Necromancers have power over death, over this strange force that one day takes every living thing.
Asimov used to do these thematic anthology collections and one of them was for wizards. He started the book with an original essay in which he looked at the word wizard and what it meant. Wiz, obviously, is wise, but the suffix -ard is tricky. Its use shows up in words like coward or drunkard, and there are variants like braggart. They all mean to do something to excess.
Given this definition, a wizard is someone who has taken wisdom to excess. A person who can control the world and reshape it to his or her whims. People fear wizards because of that. Apply that same thinking to necromancers, though – a wizard who specializes in the realm of death – and you’re looking at someone who is going to be shunned and hunted for what they know and what they can do.
But necromancy isn’t bad, per se. It’s no more intrinsically evil than any other kind of magic. A politician can use charisma and words to build laws that save lives or destroy them. An economist can use their knowledge of trade and currency to build a better world or ruin it. The use of a discipline says more about the user than the discipline.
And that brings us to Songs of the Dead.
Songs for the Dead is an independent comic about a necromancer who doesn’t believe that she’s evil. She was shunned by her parents for her power and left her village, and all she wants to do is be a hero like the ones she’s read about. She’s naive and sheltered and more than a little clueless, but the power resides within her and she could do great things… provided she survives long enough or isn’t enslaved first.
Her name is Bethany and she’s a lone traveler looking for work and to make a name for herself. She decides that taking a job to find a missing noble’s son is the best way to go about doing that, but she’s still learning and still alone and the world is a little more vast and complex than she knows it is. She’s going to need help to do the things she wants.
That help is going to come from an unexpected source.
Songs for the Dead was created and is written by Michael Christopher Heron and Andrea Fort, with art by Sam Beck and covers by Nick Robles. It is definitely worth hunting down, and you can find out more about it and Necromancer Press by clicking here.