By Dustin Cabeal
Being thrown into a world and story isn’t a bad thing as long as that world makes sense or is revealed throughout the story. When multiple aspects of the story aren’t explained or left intentionally vague, it strangely leaves you wishing for exposition.Sun Dragon’s Song has a few problems. The first being that the world isn’t very clear. There’s dragons; they eat crystals, and dragon riders patrol the border fending off the poor and starving. I get that much, minus the last bit. The character we follow is a young boy who needs a crutch to walk. We’re never told why he needs it, and we meet a bully that attempts to beat him up. It’s assumed that he’s done so on numerous other occasions which is just terrible to think about.
The boy’s parents are both dragon riders, and so he’s left at what I can only equate as a bordering school. Any information about the school, why he’s there, why one parent would stay behind to I don’t know, raise their child, is never explained. He puts in for the dragon riding school, but his parents don’t think he’ll get in. Oh, and they show up near the end of the issue to have dinner and make him a meal that doesn’t suck… in their home.
There’s nothing really bad about this story. I didn’t mind most of it, but it’s the weird decisions of what information was included and what isn’t that threw me off. Stuff about the dragons and the crystals is mentioned, and I had no context or interest in it because I’m following a little boy growing up on his own that’s partially handicapped. Save the crystal talk for later and give us some backstory on this kid.
The dialogue is decent. It flows nicely, and there’s no exposition to worry about. There’s a lot of filler dialogue in the beginning, and our main character needs someone to talk to besides himself. It’s not bad writing, but it needed another set of eyes on it or something to catch all the details falling through.
The art is interesting. It has an intentional style, so if you don’t like the cover, you won’t like the interior. It’s definitely not the best art I’ve seen, but for the most part, I enjoyed it. The artist definitely understands proportions and the importance of full looking backgrounds. The linework is just thick and at times intentionally sloppy. The coloring is good, but it’s mostly flat. There’s a few instances of lighting used, but otherwise, it’s solid coloring throughout. I’ve seen much worse, and really it seems like the colorist was doing what they knew best, and it honestly works better with the linework/inking.
With this only being four issues, reading the second issue isn’t a big deal. I’ll likely check it out, but that would be the issue that would determine if I continued. It was nice to see that it wasn’t a superhero book and that even if the art wasn’t my taste, it was at least different from a lot of other books out there. It's geared for a younger audience so perhaps someone younger will get more enjoyment out of reading this issue. For me, I’ll see how the next one goes.
Sun Dragon’s Song #1
Creators: Joyce Chng and Kim Miranda
Publisher: Rosarium Publishing