What happens when a successful TV director and producer decides that he wants to create a comic book? You get the Legend of the Mantamaji. Legend of the Mantajami is a graphic novel series form the minds of writer Eric Dean Stanton and artist Brandon Palas
The backstory is the Mantamaji are heroes dedicated to protecting the human race from ancient evil, enter into the story is our hero is Elijah Alexander, a rising star in the New York District Attorney’s office.
Raised with wild stories of an ancient city of peace (where guardians of great strength had the ability to create whatever they think of) Alexander has it all: a fast track career, brains, charm and a beautiful girlfriend with whom he is prepared build an entire future with. Then he learns that all the stories of his child hood were actually true, as part of a world he only thought to be fairly tales and make believe, which he suddenly becomes thrust into as he must become Mantamaji and defend the world from this (once again) rising evil.
Seaton’s background in TV comes into play as he crafts a solid, well paced story full of great characters that is supported and pushed forward by Palas art.
While this may be an independent comic, Seaton and Palas have created a title that is comparable, (even superior to some) of the mainstream offerings out there.
This is a book that doesn’t let you down as you go through the pages.
Now, if you’re uncertain as to whether or not you wish to check this title out then watch the short film they have created which gives you an idea of what Matamaji is all about:
I was fortunate enough to meet Eric Dean Seaton a several months ago at a large comic convention. For those who haven’t been to one these are crowded noisy places where you are surrounded by so much to see (all at once) that it is virtually impossible not to have a ‘SQUIRREL’ moment. The crowds are crushing and constantly pushing to get close to the artists and writers with the artists themselves looking almost haggard by the midway point as they speak to person after person for hours at a time.
Yet Seaton was a warm, friendly person who openly spoke with whoever came to his booth with great charisma and a genuine flair for what he was showing you.
This energy translates into the book as Seaton seems to have harnessed his personality into his story, driving it forward with a natural energy.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet artist Brandon Palas, but judging by the quality and flow of the artwork I can only imagine that he shares a similar energy as the illustrations flow naturally from panel to panel, bringing the story to life and setting that ‘comic book drama’ element in that makes comics so exciting to read.
So why bring this up? What relevance does it have to the title at all? Honestly? Everything.
When people create a comic they have to remember that it needs to have an energy and draw to the story and character so it keeps the reader interested and willing to spend their entertainment dollar. Many titles (by both large and small publishers) have failed to do this, as they seem to forget this basic principle. Seaton and Palas have not forgotten this, and as a result have created a comic well worth your time to check out.
I also want to add an apology to the team of Seaton/Palas for how long it took me to finally write an article about their work.
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