AURIC of the GREAT WHITE NORTH #1 mini-comic
“Go North, Hero!” (10 pages)
Written by: Davis Dewsbury
Art & Letters by: Andrew Thomas
Character’s Name by: Katherine Montigny
Design by: Mike Rooth
Publisher: Great North Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
“O Canada, our home and native land.
True patriot love in all thy sons command!
Through glowing hearts, we see thee rise
Our true North, strong and free! ”
[…………] — first verse of ‘O Canada’, the Canadian national anthem
How cool is this? Not since Captain Canuck, the very first Canadian super-hero BTW, or the emergence of Alpha Flight, has there been a brand-new original creation from the 49th Parallel!
Such a short story but it packs a lot of punch!!
Auric returns to the site of his origin, the source of his powers. He hasn’t walked on freshly fallen snow in one whole year. He missed the crunch it makes with his feet. He especially pined (pun intended!) for the fresh smell of the trees. He was a miner that was exposed to a strange gas. He and his co-workers were each affected differently. Some were turned into horrid beasts. He maintained his human appearance but was visited by an Inuit deity, who with a touch of her finger, calmed the power surge flowing within him.
His reverie is interrupted by an attack from an abominable snow creature. Auric’s age isn’t specified but he looks to be in his mid-50’s and one can assume that the ‘accident’ happened a century ago. He admits that he isn’t in his prime, thus he could’ve easily avoided the ambush. Auric has to draw upon his mystical might to defeat the man-beast. With the hilt of his sword, he conks the yeti on the head. Then, he draws his bow and releases an arrow causing a mini-avalanche that subdues his alabaster assailant.
The last page shows the lion-man back in his hometown. There is a deliberate mention of Northern Ontario Expo!!! It’s a comic book convention in Timmins, Ontario. Quite the distance [7.5 hours, over 700 km] from the capital of Toronto and quite isolated and frigid from civilization. It’s a small town of approximately 43,000 residents and one more parallel above. This is the second annual gathering of comic book artists as well as sci-fi and fantasy fans celebs and geeks.
Davis Dewsbury is a new name in my knowledge base. He has a LinkedIn profile (smart!) and is the president and writer of Double D Comics. Way to go, pro!! He is based in Timmins. This tale of an established hero is brief and concise. The narration reveals Auric’s innermost thoughts and cuts to the quick regarding his roots. One thing that is highly apparent is the protagonist’s passion for not just his town or country but for the winter landscape. He is appreciative of nature and gladly remains its protector.
Andrew Thomas (né Armelim) is someone I personally know. We met three years ago at Gotham Central, Mississauga’s latest and greatest comic store. Mr. Thomas is a fellow compatriot (Portuguese descent) who has toiled long and hard to publish his unique artistic renditions. I’m thrilled that this is his second project to make it to press. The first was POSTHUMAN by Hound Comics. Andrew’s art is crisp and clear. Auric has the sternness of one burdened with responsibility. The creased forehead shows a man wrought with worry but possessing great determination. The colours of the costume are evocative of a knight’s armour without the chain mail. Aesthetically, there is a good balance between foreground and background. Andrew makes excellent use of shadows, especially the eyes peering through the trees. The lines are extremely efficient. One is not distracted by twisted angles or outrageous contours.
Katherine Montigny, another homegrown talent, came up with the name for this nascent character. The etymology is two-fold: (1) it refers to aurum [the Latin name for gold] which applies here with the lion’s lush mane, and (2) it relates to the aura surrounding a living creature. This makes perfect sense since the unnamed miner was imbued with magical powers from the great land.
Mike Rooth is a well-established artist from Oakville, Ontario [only an hour away from Drake’s hometown ;-)]. His design of the mane man is eye-popping. If the lion is the king of the jungle, this character is master of the northern domain.
I will enthusiastically give free plugs to this book. The amount of social media regarding this mini-sized literary work is enormous!! The media coverage alone was outstanding! Suffice to say you can search for the main collaborators on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and more!!
Here’s a sample from the almighty Google engine:
I give this book a 10 out of 11 points (on the Canadian flag). I rise and stand on guard!!