HYPE: Artesia

A proper review is forthcoming soon, but I couldn’t contain my excitement about my latest, greatest discovery: Mark Smylie’s Artesia. It’s the perfect combination of compelling lead character, richly detailed setting and absolutely beautiful artwork that marks the best epic fantasy tales.

I picked up Artesia: Besieged #1 on a lark last week, having enjoyed several of the other titles Smylie’s Archaia Studio Press has recently released — The Lone and Level Sands, Robotika and Mouse Guard — and was totally captivated by it. I bought the first TPB, Artesia, last night and devoured it on the train ride home, not the least bit concerned about anyone catching a glimpse of the not-so-occasional panel of nudity (male and female, including full frontal) because the presentation is so clearly artistic, and the overall tone of the series is refreshingly mature. Even my wife noted the beautiful artwork while flipping through it briefly, especially impressed with Artesia herself.

If you enjoy the fantasy genre at all, then you should give Artesia a look-see, because Smylie has created an immersive world that will absolutely suck you in. There’s even a role playing game based on it, the highly regarded Artesia: Adventures In The Known World, which is now on my Wish List because I love reading a good RPG manual nearly as much as I enjoy a good fantasy story. Feel free to buy it for me as a Father’s Day present! 😉

EDIT: Act fast and you can snag a set of the original floppies from 1999 on eBay.

EDIT: There’s a new hardcover edition of the first volume coming out in August, and I’ve updated the Amazon link above. I’ve also reviewed Artesia Besieged #1, the first installment of the Fourth Book of Dooms.

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