The Zaucer of Zilk #1
Story by Brendan McCarthy and Al Ewing, Script by Al Ewing, Colors by Len O’Grady and Brendan McCarthy, Lettering by Elli de Ville
The Zaucer of Zilk probably has at least 10 pages that merit discussion, but this one will have to do for now. In this sequence, we see the Zaucer getting his bearings in the “ancestral abode of the noble line of Zilk”, and the rules of this story’s world are delineated. We learn about Zaucer’s loss of identity in the dreary, damp, and dark urban not-world, his eternal youth and status as the latest in a long line of noble Zaucers, and the Wand of Zaucer which is his birthright and the object of the antagonist’s desire. The comic efficiently makes the parameters of the narrative clear and the conflict obvious, and the Zaucer ties up the sequence with a metatextual line, “Right, then. That’s everyone caught up.”
“Let’s go and make some trouble…”
The Zaucer of Zilk’s glorious candy colors are the first thing that hit you when you read this comic. It’s like the whole world of the comic is made out of psychedelic confectionary magic, and the vibrancy of the book is just intoxicating. Beyond the amazingness of the art, the Zaucer’s story is highly archetypal and resonates on a deep level. Whether intentionally or not, the narrative of the Zaucer very neatly aligns with Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. The way that he’s pulled from a comfortable, ordinary world and into a candy coated “field of adventure”, his discovery that he is of noble lineage, the quest that he embarks on through “a dream landscape of curiously fluid, ambiguous forms”, it’s all straight out of the monomyth. The Zaucer is the hero of all myths, but in new, sleek day-glo leather, and journeying through a candy infused world of absurdity and magic.