I picked up Scales and Scoundrels, Volume 1 because it looked like a fun sword and sorcery type comic with a fun style of artwork that kind of reminded me a bit of Lumberjanes. And in this case, judging the book by its cover worked--it WAS a fun romp in fantasy land, that readers of all ages can enjoy.
Immediately I got a good laugh, when on page one we have a meta situation where characters are in the middle of playing a fantasy game. Right away, when we meet main character Luvander, we can tell it's going to be a fun ride of treasure hunting and thrills. When she teams up with a prince, his protector, and their dwarf companion, the adventures really begin.
Volume 1 does a good job at introducing the characters and getting readers to care about them. Even though Koro, the bodyguard, doesn't trust Luvander, and normally readers might give her the side eye, we can understand why when we see her backstory. All the main characters are well developed and aren't just walking cliches--even though that could have worked with this sort of story, the story is much stronger because the writer didn't take the easy way.
The creators have a great, diverse cast of characters here, and they aren't just painting some characters with darker skin in order to have token characters of color. There is culture and tradition here, decisions are not just made arbitrarily. Again, this points to the excellent character development, which is what makes this comic rise above others.
The volume ends with a couple of mysteries at hand, and leaves readers wanting to know more. I'll definitely be picking up Volume 2 to find some answers to the questions raised in this book.
Also, I want an isp!
Melanie R. Meadors is the author of fantasy stories where heroes don't always carry swords and knights in shining armor often lose to nerds who study their weaknesses. Her fiction has most recently appeared in the anthologies Champions of Aetaltis and Kaiju Rising II: Reign of Monsters. Melanie is the co-director of the Gen Con Writer's Symposium and the publisher at Outland Entertainment. She's the co-editor of the anthology MECH: Age of Steel and editor of Hath No Fury, and she is a blogger and general b*tch monkey at The Once and Future Podcast.