Every so often I have the good fortune of discovering a title in the works that looks to be quite promising, and get the opportunity to connect with the creator(s); one such title was Staunch Ambition, created by Brian Lau.
After first learning of the project (via Twitter) several months ago I contacted Lau and had the pleasure of interacting with him regarding Staunch Ambition, and his comic work in general. Lau gave me the initial impression of someone who takes his work (not himself) seriously, and to be a very genuine person.
After interacting with him, and reviewing some of his other work, both turned out to be true. In fact, Lau (and his work) made enough of an impression that I decided to be one of the backers to his Kickstarter campaign. Not only do I suggest to others what comics to buy, but I also put my money where my mouth is.
Then I waited. Many a good artist/person has had a Kickstarter campaign go south on them or not meet expectations upon delivery and (like others) I too have been caught by this.
Lau, and his team, did not disappoint in any manner. Frequent updates, peeks at developing work, all deadlines met, reward packages for backers sent out on time (perhaps even ahead of schedule) and then full launch on time. While all this speaks a great deal of Lau (and his teams) professionality, it still doesn’t indicate how good his title is.
So how good is Staunch Ambition? Very.
Not only did Lau and his team meet all expectations leading up to the release, upon receiving my copy of the title I felt they exceeded those same expectations with the product they released.
Lau starts his title with a well thought out, and credible, back story before taking it to the current time in the comic, from there he introduces his characters and ideas at an even pace without skimping on details or overloading the reader with an excess of detail.
This well-used pacing continues throughout the entire comic, which is important as many a (potentially great) story has been ruined by bad pacing which confuses or frustrates the reader.
Right from the first page of the comic Staunch Ambition begins with a soft bright look to the colouring and artwork, which they maintain throughout. Each page and panel flows smoothly into the next, which is important when multiple artists work on a title together.
Now so far this may sound like a fairly clinical evaluation of a lot of hard work and dedication by a very talented team of people; so, all that aside, how is the comic? Honestly, great. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next issue.
On my first pass through the title I skimmed the pages enjoying the look and flow before reading it cover to cover, and even though I already had an idea of what was going to happen I still enjoyed reading it in detail. A few days later I read it again and still enjoyed it, that (to me anyway) is a sign of a good story – when you can read and reread it and still enjoy it.
John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available through Amazon.com), and a number of articles here on TMRZoo.com. His monthly column ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’ appears here and through his blog Indy Comics Spotlight