Fantasy Theater #17

J. Kevin Carrier’s art isn’t up to his aims, but I have to admire his dedication. He’s been plugging along with his minicomics for years, creating stories about superhero Lady Spectra and barbarian Glorianna.

In this special issue, the two temporarily swap places. The first story focuses on how Spectra’s daughter Sparky copes with the sword-wielding barely clad warrior in a modern city, while the second sends Spectra to attack a castle. The cover sums up the concept well. (The line down the middle is the spine, creating wraparound art.)

Fantasy Theater #17 cover

As I mentioned above, the art is servicable at best. You can tell what’s going on, and the characters have expression, but the images themselves are often awkward or off. The dialogue, though, can be fun, as when Sparky tries to explain to Glorianna why they’re arresting a gambling overlord:

Glorianna: That’s silly. Why shouldn’t people spend their money as they choose?
Sparky: Well, he sells drugs, too!
G: If people want to make themselves stupid, it’s no concern of mine.
S: And – and – prostitution!
G: Distasteful, but a girl has to earn a living.
S: Fine! Whatever! I’m going to go arrest him anyway, if it’s all the same to you!

I did wish that the characters were better identified in the stories — I finally realized that the concepts were explained on the back cover, which I only found after reading the rest.

At 28 pages, including a letter column and fan art, for $1.50 and a color cover, it’s a great deal. Find out more at the Fantasy Theater website.

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3 Responses to “Fantasy Theater #17”

  1. Lisa Jonte Says:

    J.K. is a great guy. I’m glad to see his hard work getting some attention and critique. May it spur him on!

  2. J. Kevin Carrier Says:

    Thanks so much for the review! I think you pretty much nailed it in regards to my strengths and weaknesses — that Glori/Sparky exchange was my favorite part of the story, too ;-) Good call on the back cover blurb, also — I actually added that at the last minute, precisely because I realized the story might be a bit opaque to new readers. But it probably should have been up front somewhere. Live and learn!

  3. Johanna Says:

    I was surprised to see that you weren’t using the inside front cover, actually — it’d be a great spot to include character descriptions, the credits (I found myself wondering about those, too), and contact information.

    Thanks for letting me take a look!

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