Welcome to Indie Comics Spotlight, where every month I present a different independent comic, as well as cartoon strips and artists.
This month I would like to spotlight ‘Asreeth Lion Warrior’, written, drawn and coloured by Mr Rene Arreola.
Set in the kingdom of Pridelands, Asreeth Lion Warrior tells the story of dedicated royal guardsman Asreeth, (of the mighty Golden Pride clan) as he safeguards the kingdom of his birth from enemies (such as their long time rivals the Red Sabre clan). While upholding his duties Asreeth finds himself in the middle of an unfolding plot to bring about the end of the Golden Pride clan and over throw the throne of Pridelands, catching Asreeth in the middle of everything.
This title is filled with fantastic creatures, open detailed landscapes, magic, mystery, intrigue and constant action. Both the story and the dialogue are quick with a good flow. The panels on each page are well used to move the story forward without moving too quickly past anything.
The characters consistently come to life and develop on every page, making them credible and relevant to the story. Add a storyline of political manipulation and subterfuge, reminiscent of feudal Europe, and you have ‘Asreeth Lion Warrior’.
Available in both on line format or printed version the entire title is done from start to finish by creator Rene Arreola. Even more impressive is the fact that he delivers a new page each week without disrupting the even, fast paced story.
With a love for science fiction and fantasy material, and a need to challenge himself as an artist, Rene drew inspiration from his cat Serra (who sadly passed away in June) whom he called ‘his little lioness’ to create Asreeth and his world.
“My inspiration for Asreeth comes from wanting to create a unique character in a fantasy world setting that is inhabited by other unique supporting characters.” said Rene (when I asked him about his inspiration) “For these characters, I thought using animals like the lions, sabers, and bats would achieve this look visually and also be a change of pace for myself artistically. I haven’t drawn that many animals and I wanted to be able to push myself as an artist to incorporate them into my body of work. For starters, I am excited to be creating the different animal clans that I’ve come up with so far that will be introduced in Asreeth Lion Warrior. Obviously, Asreeth is the top dog, (so to speak), and the main focus, but I have plans for other races of half-human and half-bear, -elephant, -frog, -bird characters, etc. Artistically, I like to come up with enough variety in my own work that keeps me interested.”
The classic look of his title is no mistake either, “I like to say Asreeth was inspired by a heavy dosage of John Buscema (Conan the Barbarian comic books) with a dash of Lord of the Rings thrown in, but with sci-fi definitely factored in to the whole equation. Oh yeah, and some Jack Kirby’s Kamandi thrown into the mix as well.” Rene told me via email.
One problem that can happen with independent comics is the creators lose interest, and the title suffers.However fans of Asreeth be happy to know that Rene has put a great deal of thought into his title, both with what he has produced so far and future plans.
“I have envisioned Asreeth Lion Warrior to run for about 3-4 seasons. Each season is made up of about 20-30 episodes. My plan is for any future characters, and new series after Asreeth, to all take place in the same universe. This would allow for past characters to once again show up. Readers who have followed my work before are about to see a certain axe-wielding character play a role in the coming episodes of Asreeth. For those who may not know this, Asreeth Lion Warrior was first mentioned way back in the aforementioned, axe-wielding character’s original series!”
Solid fast paced action, promise of a well thought out evolving story, an artist/creator who is always looking to improve, and who is driven by a passion for comics and comic art are just some of the reasons to look into Asreeth Lion Warrior and to keep your eye on this title as it develops.