Shepherd #1 begins a new series from Scout Comic imprint Black Caravan on February 3. From the Molinari writing team comes a two-for-one story about the title character in his role and his origin. One art team focuses on the series’s mythic scales; the other shows the protagonist’s down-to-earth motivations.
Writing The Shepherd #1 Are…
Father-son writing team Andrea Lorenzo Molinari and Roberto Xavier Molinari show the ins and outs of the title character. The Shepherd #1 makes a grand first impression by introducing his role of guiding the recently deceased. What makes him stand out is his intelligence and empathy; he’s smart enough to identify fraudulent gods taking advantage of wayward souls and caring enough to see what weighs these ghosts down. The complementary story suggests this sense of empathy comes from a very personal place. So if the grand scale doesn’t get the reader hooked, the origin might.
Before the Shepherd comes a man, one who sees the good and bad of empathy. Lawrence Miller lives a mundane if fulfilling life with a family and job he loves. Has the reader ever had a family they love but get annoyed to a degree with? It’s perfectly normal to expect this as people can cruise through life without too much worry. Because if everybody follows some rules, that routine can make the most sense. When Lawrence ignores the rules he sets for himself because he connects (empathizes) with people, the reader empathizes with Lawrence when everything falls apart. Who doesn’t feel like they get punished by ignoring routine?
Two Sides Of Art
Shepherd #1 features two art teams for these sides of its lead.
The initial story “Do You Like Ghost Stories?” features art from Luca Panciroli, where the mythic scale is on display. The story setting’s architecture is not only mythic in Egyptian imagery, but the large size dwarfs the Shepherd. This makes him look vulnerable to threats inside; had it not be for colorist Pamela Poggiali providing the Shepherd with impressive-looking magic. This, when combined with SFX and a logo from letterer Joel Rodiguez makes the Shepherd as mighty a presence as the setting.
So what happens when “Origins” presents Shepherd #1 in a mundane light? Ryan Showers presents the Shepherd’s life as Lawrence as simple and orderly. The architecture, furniture, and plainer backgrounds are drawn in ways that don’t look important. The brown coloring that Heather Breckel provides in most scenes assist in this mundane atmosphere. A cold looking blue color, meanwhile, signifies a coming radical change. The captions from letterer Jacob Bascle give these empty feeling spaces weight with Lawrence’s thoughts. It all provides a real sense of being helpless as thoughts and emotions pile on top of one another.
Check Out Shepherd #1 For A Pre-Order!
Shepherd #1 has the makings of a surprise hit series. By displaying a character in action first and then showcasing his motivations, it provides a nice juxtaposition. A character so powerful and compassionate who comes from a place like anyone a chance to connect with. With a trade already scheduled for April and reading this, I am compelled to preorder to see where this all goes.