By Dustin Cabeal
Daughter is so good that I wish I had already known about it. Sam Beck’s story is brilliantly narrated as it takes you into a world of swords and magic. Just the presentation of the first page was enough to hook me. The striking image of a woman sitting on a throne alone, a scar over her eye and the statement, “I am the eleventh daughter.” From that point on, I was hooked. The rest of the issue could have sold me ketchup in a sandwich baggy, and I would have bought it. Thankfully, I didn’t do that instead crafted a wonderfully circular story to enjoy.
After the short introduction of our main character the eleventh daughter, we find her fox hunting. This is another incredible step for the artwork which has fantastic coloring. There is snow covering the ground, and the orangish red fox stands out from the trees and our main character in her deep blue dress and a gray cloak. The coloring is robust and gives a contrast to the page that guides your eye and holds your attention. Soon the eleventh daughter comes across some crazy magic going down in the woods. It turns out to be a warning from one of her brothers. War is coming, but he can’t tell her much more than that.
What’s particularly entertaining about the story that Beck has crafted is that it’s a world that you’d want to visit. Often in the comics, I review I’m visiting worlds I have no desire to escape to and explore. The world of subtle magic in Daughter is one that you could revisit over and over and just slowly peel back corners of revealing more of the world. It's not that Beck created characters and a setting that is interesting, its that he created an entire universe with just one story.
The narration is particularly strong. It’s also quite memorable. I loved that opening line, and it only got better from there. There are a few gems to be found in the pages. The story isn’t entirely narration, but the dialogue is kept to a minimum. Beck’s artwork does the heavy lifting, but where there is dialogue, it’s to the point.
Aside from the brilliant coloring, the panel choices control the flow of the story. The layouts vary in size and design, but each page is well-crafted. The artwork is detailed with clean line work. There is a range of thick and thin lines, but every choice seems like the perfect one. From the waves in the hair or the bark on the trees. There is a bit of action in the issue, all of which flows nicely and keeps the intensity that the story is building towards with its conclusion.
Daughter is one of the best things I’ve read all year. I have no idea what other issues it was up against, but Sam Beck’s story has grabbed my attention in a big way. If she were to revisit this world, I would be the first in line. If she’s working on something else already, then I want to know about it. Click the link above or below to get the info on where to pick up the issue. It’s my hope that everyone reading this will grab a copy and enjoy.
Daughter – Winner – Single Issue, Ghost City Comics Competition
Creator: Sam Beck