Stars. How long was it before our ancestors began to believe in the stars with their bright, benevolent beckoning? They have provided messages and meanings as well an offer that more exists beyond Earth. Stars are prophetically powerful while also providing possibilities. Writer Liam Sharp delivers an interstellar adaptation of an age old tale. But in exploring this archetypal nature of our ancestory, Starhenge; Book One presents a tale of both humanity’s doom and deliverance.
STARHENGE: BOOK ONE
The Dragon and the Boar # 1 (of 6)
Written,Illustrated,Letterd: Liam Sharp
Additional Art: Matylda McCormack-Sharp
Font: Dave Gibbons
The prologue of this issue is an early indication of where this story is heading. But does knowing what story is being told make a difference? It does give a sense of the epic, mythological tale that writer Liam Sharp is setting out to tell. The Dragon and the Boar opens with a passage from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s The History of the Kings of Britain. Though the tale is Arthurian, do not expect to see a round table this issue. In fact, accompanying the lettering of Geoffrey’s poem are images of a cosmic space. This is an indication that the scale of the story (or stories) within Starhenge: Book One is massive.
If the book’s title and the prologue haven’t hinted to you that this is a grandiose project, then the pages that follow the prologue will. The scene transitions slowly from the completely void blackness of space to a star filled sky. Next, as if imitating a shooting star, we hurtle down to Earth. It is here that Liam Sharp, assuming the role of the issues artist along with Matylda McCormack–Sharp, showcase an early Earth. What I can only describe as water color painted images show readers a hillside forest that is also the site of hunt. While I enjoyed all this issues illustrations, I was sold on the book after seeing the Sharps work here. This comic is filled with these type of pages; large or panel within panel drawings.
At the end of the day the sun is just another star. But it’s the significance we place on it, what it means to our existence, which earns it a distinct title. It takes a while, but eventually readers get an idea whose story this is. It is well into issue # 1 of Starhenge before we meet Amber. We don’t even see her at first; Sharp offers us a view of Amber’s sunshine. Daryl, in her mind, is the Winona Ryder to Amber’s Edward Scissorhands. Personally, I think Amber is more like Ryder’s role in Heathers, mainly because of the way she speaks. As you read the dialogue from Dave Gibbons, you notice that Liam Sharp provides Amber with a personality that seems unsure and uncertain. Or is it just that even she can’t accept her ultimate role story. As if she is telling us something that is too big to believe because even she doesn’t believe it.
The creative canonization of this story could be confusing to some readers. As someone who typically reads a comic 2-3 times in the first pass, even I have to admit it took me some time to break this story down. The main reason for this is what ultimately makes for a great debut issue. Although Amber is detailing the story she doesn’t exist in all of it. Starhenge spans from early man to the year 2112. There are stories before and after Amber’s lifetime. It’s easy to imagine that she benefited from other people and contributed to some people’s well-being as well.
Starhenge: Book One “The Dragon and the Boar” is the first issue in what is an epic, Illyad-ish tale. Spanning the ages, Liam Sharp’s inter-natural ode is filled with graphic novel style images. A book about space and the stars. A story that promises some magic - the pentagram is a star, right? And a main character in Amber who is figuring out her way.