A Comic by Shannon Maer
Shannon Maer is an amazingly talented cover-artist, with gorgeous digitally-painted artwork graces just about every major comic publisher today – from X-Men to Catwoman. Touted as their “first ever creator owned comic”, the book has the pedigree to be very special. With that said, this very first issue seems to trouble me a bit, as a lot of this promise is somewhat squandered. Yes, the artwork is utterly gorgeous, with vibrant colors, sexy women on every page, and mysterious things happening left and right. The plot, however, is what I have problems with. Basically everything that happens in this book is as follows: soldiers attack a girl in a dark room, to which she reveals magical powers and attacks them. Our main character, Tara, is in a stripclub reading a horror novel, when a guy comes in and randomly invites to that very same author’s house. Tara meets the author and they make out, then a random werewolf attacks. That’s literally what happens.
“When a mysterious young man extends an unexpected invitation, Tara is awed at the opportunity to meet with her literary idol, Lady Rose. This unique encounter sparks a series of events, forever thrusting her into a world where vampires, werewolves and all manner of supernatural beings become her new normal. What Tara once assumed to be nothing more than the imagined pages of dark fiction, slowly begins to unravel itself as the true reality.”
I was befuddled reading this, because the entire book feels like it is missing a full-on previous chapter that actually explains everything. We even see reference to the fact that Tara almost died sometime in the past, when her friend, a stripper dressed as a cat, mentions that everyone was staring at her for that very reason. We have no idea as to who Tara is, why she almost died, if she works as a bartender at the strip club, who the other girl is, how the man knew she was randomly reading his bosses book, or anything else. Trying to make heads or tails of anything was mildly infuriating. I fully assume we’ll get a flashback at some point that explains everything, but I honestly don’t know if I can make it that far.
This honestly makes reviewing this book hard because I love the artwork, but that’s all this book has going for it. It has amazing art, and a baffling story that occasionally shows up to confuse the reader.
I will try one more issue of Siren’s Gate to see where everything goes. I’d hate to drop something prematurely, but I draw a hard line with any comic that I literally can’t comprehend events being shown to me. I think that, in the future, it would suit Shannon Maer to team-up with a writer for their next story as this may end up a stunningly drawn flop, and that would be a huge shame for somebody trying to break their way into being an artist-owned comic producer. I wish this comic the best, and we shall see what happens next.