Wanting to surprise me at Christmas, but apprehensive that she’d get something I already had or didn’t like, my wife took some advice from the owner of a relatively new comic book shop in a neighbouring town. She told him titles I like, highlighting Fables as my favourite, and he made a recommendation and even went as far as to say that if I had it already or didn’t like it, he would exchange it, no questions asked.
Fast forward to Christmas Day and I have said comic book, wrapped and in my hands. Thinking she may also have mentioned my like of Preacher I was half expecting the first Sandman trade paperback – a title I’ve often been tempted by but never enough to actually buy volume 1. What I actually got when I opened the present was a hardcover edition of a title I’d never heard of; Soulfire.
I recognised one of the writers, Jeph Loeb, as one of the guys behind some of the greatest Batman stories ever such as Batman: Long Halloween and Batman: Haunted Knight. I flicked through and was straight away drawn to the artwork, which is absolutely stunning – rich in detail and beautifully coloured. The story is one of fantasy, featuring dragons and magic. I really enjoyed it and am now looking forward to April when the issues 6-10 are collected in volume 2. It’s only a 10 issue story arc, but there may be more to come in the future if I’m reading correctly.
So my wife took a leap of faith that paid off, the comic book shop owner was spot on, and I’ve discovered a great new comic book series that otherwise I probably never would have.
The comic book shop is Limited Edition Comix, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire – visit it if you’re ever in the area – I hear the guy who runs it knows his stuff.