By Cat Wyatt
Realms of the Void is a new graphic novel that’s currently still in the works. It’s a creative science fiction story, written and drawn by Santiago R. Villa, an impressive feat to say the least. The whole story takes place in space – frequently out in ships or out in the vacuum itself, rather than on any planets. This was an interesting choice, and one that I found appealing.
What first caught my attention about this series was the artwork – it immediately reminded me of a few games I love to play, particularly Castle Crashers. The cute appearance is a little deceptive, as the subject is more intense than it would appear.
Prophecies and space stories don’t typically go hand in hand, but in this story they do. We have a kingdom, a prophecy, a lost knight, and the vast universe created for this story. The main character, Delrhin Guiradhar is a Foutheen-Gen Errant Knight of the Crown (try saying that give times fast), but that’s not all. He’s become corrupted by the actions he took in a distant past (distant for us, less so for him, I believe). Both he and his armor appear to be cursed, so now his newest quest is to make it back to his homelands to resolve this issue.
Which of course brings us to the complication (as if being cursed wasn’t enough of a complication, that is), Delrhin doesn’t know where he is, or how to get home. I also don’t believe he’s aware of the span of time that has passed the rest of the universe by. That will undoubtedly lead to some confusion for the poor guy.
Delrhin’s only companion for the past few months/years (or more?) has been his little Scribe Droid named Minstrel. They’re pretty much the cutest droid I’ve ever seen. Picture a spherical floating droid, and add some typical knight/jester themes and you’re pretty much picturing Minstrel. I know they’re not a major part of the series, but man are they cute (though one could argue that Minstrel’s loyalty and refusal to stop searching for Delrhin is the reason he’s made it as far as he has, so in that sense they are very important for the series).
There are other events and characters that keep popping up through the forty seven pages, but I’m not quite sure how they all tie together yet. There’s the obvious layer of course – that they’re all from/talking about the same kingdom, but I don’t know their connections to Delrhin, or if they even know him. I’ll admit I’m very curious to see where those relationships end up going.
The story has some pretty solid ideas, but I think it could use some more work in the follow through. Some clarity to what is occurring would help, as well as another level of editing; a couple of grammatical errors made it through, as well as a couple other oddities that I would attribute to a language barrier (using ‘checkpot’ instead of ‘jackpot’ and other minor issues like that). I do think the series has some potential, and would love to see where it ends up going.
As I mentioned earlier, the artwork is super cute, but it’s also misleading. It looks more appropriate for a comedic style of story, which couple with the comic expressions and intensity of emotions shown really adds more humor than I think was intentional. I do love the artist’s style, and it isn’t the first time I’ve seen a humorous art style coupled with a heavier plot, it just takes precision and balance to get the two to work together. With a little bit of finessing this combo could really work for the creator.
Realms of the Void
Author & Artist: Santiago R. Villa