Friday, March 8, 2013

Goddess - A Short Comic Review

Goddess is a short story by Ryan Ferrier and Hugo Petrus on the Challenger Comics website. It is free to read and is also outstandingly great as it chronicles the fiery uprising of a powerful goddess. I count Ferrier as a good friend but I'm writing about this story because I hate him right now. I hate him for writing one of the best things I've read all year and helping create my favourite page of the year. This is a short story with serious teeth, no doubt about it so check it out for free online right now. Hit the jump to learn more.

Written by Ryan Ferrier
Art by Hugo Petrus

This tale is loosely inspired by the Irish myth of Flidais. Ferrier takes the strands of this old tale and carves them into a new cohesive beast as sharp as the tip of a blade and as poisonous as man. He crafts a simple narrative of a young lady - a wee lass - lost and taken in and cared for by a village. They are open to caring for a fellow human but they treat their animals with disregard, as objects of sustenance to be abused and destroyed. One panel shows a hell of a kick JCVD would be proud of on a poor dog. This gross misconduct breaks her spirit and nature fueled insanity ensues.

Hugo Petrus is a major reason for the success of this short. His pages are design heavy, he rarely relies on usual breakdowns, and there's something raw about the way he tells this story. The reader is required to engage and break the page down through keen intellect and inherent intuition. Petrus is working from the school of Bissette and Totleben circa their destruction of minds collaborating with Alan Moore on Swamp Thing decades ago. The content is similar, animal/human hybrids with weapons if natural destruction, so the comparison is openly there but for me this felt like a woodcut cautionary tale with a hi-def upgrade via Heavy Metal.

There is a meaning to this story, perhaps several. Don't piss off nature, respect everything that helps you. While its a grand parable this story perhaps works even more effectively as a kick ass slice of pseudo-history. This will make your brain think in the places where smarts and sensibilities are ordered but it'll also drop a white hot bomb of light in the guttural corners of your dome. Which brings me to my favourite page...
The page of the woman's complete transformation into Flidais is a stirring moment brought to you by the collaborative powers of art and words. Petrus smashed out a gorgeous page whereupon Ferrier drops lyrical lines of poetic portent. I love the flow across to the right and then back down to the bottom left. That's bold and innovative. The captions run their meter and build to the crescendo of 'Flidaid rides again.' I felt a score of strings made from intestines grip my soul on this page. What has come before is once again. What is going to kill you is unstoppable. What is beautiful is really death, and vice versa. I could read this page for days. Perhaps I have.

Verdict - Must Read. Goddess is a near perfect short story in the way it evokes and presents itself as art. There are multiple take away moments which will have you thinking later in the week as you stare into the darkness of your empty nights. I read this tale a week ago and haven't been able to let it go. Or pry its grip from me. I count Ferrier a friend and I'm a better man now he's inspired me with this tale and collaboration with Hugo Peteus.

You can read this tale for free here: And if you go to the main site you'll find a plethora of inspiring free shorts and cheap one-shots, minis, and OGNs available for purchase in print and digital.

For transparency, yes, I have work on the site. No, that doesn't stop me hating Ferrier any at all.

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