Circadian Rhythms : Spoiler-Free Comic Review
Circadian Rhythms : “Papercuts and Inkstains” Presents a “Madius Comics” One-Shot
Circadian Rhythms is a 13-page one-shot comic from Madius Comics. The story was written by Michael Sambrook and Rob Jones, with lettering also done by Jones, and the artwork is by Gustavo Vargus. Where can you pick it up? Well it’s not available just yet, but it will be at the THOUGHT BUBBLE Convention on September 22! And it will be sold for only £3! Can’t be at the convention to pick one up? Don’t worry; it’ll be available online shortly afterward.
So what’s the comic about?
Circadian Rhythms is a very interesting little tale concerning draconian creatures that emerge from the earth at regular intervals throughout history. “Circadian”, in general, refers to the cycle running in our brains that adheres our systems to a 24-hour day. The “circadian rhythm” in question relating to this comic is that of the creatures and the cycle at which they rise and fall, disappearing for years, but always returning.
Like the periodic cicada living underground and only emerging after up to 17 years, the dragon-like beasts of Circadian Rhythms burst into the upper world for short periods of time to wreak havoc. I fell in love with these creatures immediately. I may be a bit biased, being an enormous fan of dragons in general, but I love the design of CR’s monsters. Not only are they dragon-esque in design, but as the comic’s title implies they are also very circadian-like as well. Their style is that of an enormous winged insect that could easily have been the inspiration for ancient people’s stories of horrible dragon-monsters. They’re creepy, slimy-looking terrors that can rip a man into shreds, while also having that sense of winged majesty that makes you dream about riding one.
A Mysterious Heroine…
CR also features a mysterious female warrior named Gytha. Not much is revealed about her in the one-shot, but one thing is for certain: she is badass. No one knows where she came from, who she really is, or her true age. She simply appears when needed, and then vanishes again with the creatures she defends the world from. Is she immortal? Does she retain her youth by sleeping whenever she isn’t needed? Who knows!
Gytha is as much of a mystery as the beasts she battles. She’s a timeless guardian trained by the Monks of Wepre, and that’s all we truly need to know. She’s hardcore. Inspiring. She is a wicked-awesome, epic hero who can, and will, kick some major ass.
She’s the kind of character that will spawn a veritable deluge of fan art; mark my words!
A Few Technical Points:
I am not a fan of comics that are difficult to read, either because the dialogue is clunky and confusing, or because the artwork is organized in a nonsensical way that keeps the story from flowing well. Therefore I’m happy to announce that Circadian Rhythms avoids both of these pitfalls.
The story, though short, thrives on some wonderful dialogue set between Gytha and the patrons of the pub she arrives at. The language matches the perceived time period, while also incorporating some fun and humor. It’s easy to read, easy to follow, and the interactions between the characters is a hoot.
The artwork is rather different from the comics I normally read, but quite beautiful in its own right. Action is portrayed clearly and powerfully, while gore is done in an unusual way that makes it clear what is happening without actually showing clear, disgusting details. The dragon-cicada-beasts themselves are my favorite. They have a strange shape to them that almost makes it look as though their bodies are melting or writhing. They’re not entirely substantial, somehow, which is a very different and fun aesthetic.
I fully enjoyed checking out Circadian Rhythms. So much so that I’ve already begun poking co-creator Rob Jones to insist that it must become a series. Gytha and the beasts she fights against are wonderful, interesting characters that I would love to see play out an over-arching story-line, and I feel confident that many comic fans would agree with me. If you’re lucky enough to be going to THOUGHT BUBBLE, definitely check it out. If not, keep your eye out on the Madius website for when it goes live! This one is totally worth a grab.