This month I am posting a review of a different self-published comic book each day for the rest of the month! Here is an archive of the books reviewed so far!
Today I am featuring Pam Harrison's House of the Muses #1-3.
Let me get something straight right off of the bat. I'm honestly not a fan of the 3-D art style that Pam Harrison uses for House of the Muses. I think it is a very impressive level of 3-D art, and it is remarkable that she is able to tell such a completely realized story with 3-D art and not have it look ridiculous. That's to her great credit. She's a whiz with 3-D art, it appears. That said, I just don't think that even the best 3-D art has gotten to the point where I personally dig it. That's just me. I am not saying that the art is BAD, by any means (heck, I think Harrison is probably one of the best 3-D comic book artists that I have seen), just that it does not appeal to me.
In addition, there are many times in this work where it seems apparent that this story originated as a prose work, as there are large chunks of text here and there. Almost early-Spawn levels of text.
I wish to get those things out of the way to start, because those are my only two critiques of Harrison's work, which otherwise is a tremendously entertaining, polished work of art.
The gist of the story is that one of the poems in the collection of Sappho was inexplicably written in Spartan dialect. So Harrison thought, "Hey, there is probably a really fascinating story in there somewhere about a Spartan woman traveling to Lesbos." And that, in effect, is what House of Muses is about, a Spartan woman named Dika and her journeys through life.
House of the Muses mixes action, romance and drama in a extremely mature fashion, while still managing to always keep the story not too difficult for a teen reader to grasp. It's an extremely mainstream work, with a little bit of something in there for everyone.
It recently was awarded the fourth annual Queer Press Grant from Prism Comics. It is a well deserved honor, and I hope it may lead to even more distribution of this comic, which already looks extremely polished.
Each issue is about six bucks, but you get a ton of story for your money (issue #1 was over 50 pages long).
Here are some sample pages from issue #3....
I made sure to find pages that show you some variety in the 3-D art as well as the frequent large chunks of text. The large chunks of text can be difficult to get through, just due to their size, but they're never superfluous - they always help to the telling of the story, giving further depth and breadth to the characters.
The characters, by the way, perhaps DUE to the large amounts of texts, are extremely actualized. You soon know pretty much KNOW all the main characters in the story, most especially Dika, who is an engaging and endearing hero.
House of the Muses is a historical epic filled with love and loss, action and drama, and most importantly, characters who are worth reading.
Pam sent me copies of House of the Muses #1-3. If you would like to participate in the month with your self-published comic, there most likely is still time (depending on how fast you mail out comics). Just check out the Review Copies section to see where to mail a review copy of your comic.