Hace you read Aqua Leung? It’s a graphic novel about an undersea prince who must train to avenge his family’s murder. If you are familiar with the classic hero’s journey a la Joseph Campbell you will recognize it in this story as written by Mark Andrew Smith. Aqua Leung is an action packed thrill ride with quirky characters that’s not afraid to be bombastic or over the top. Heck, that’s part of it’s charm. The art of Paul Maybury makes this underwater based fantasy epic truly memorable. The energy of Maybury’s linework practically radiates off the page! Check out some of the art for yourself! Tom Spurgeon interviewed the creators when the book came out in 2008. He asks some great questions (as always) and it’s fun to learn about what Smith and Maybury did before Aqua Leung.
It is my understanding that there are no plans for a second installment and that is truly a shame. When I first bought this graphic novel I carried it around with me for a week, taking time in between my activities to feast my eyes on the art. As an artist, I find it inspirational. As a writer, I find it affirming that a well-known fantasy story can still be reinterpreted in a successful manner.
Aqua Leung is reason enough to talk excitedly about Paul Maybury, but what got me to actually blog about the artist is the Storm image you see above these paragraphs. This unique take on our Windrider is particularly attractive to me thanks to the playful quality of Storm sitting on the cloud and how the lightning itself spells out the sound effects. Ororo almost has a My Little Pony mane going on here and I’m not saying that is a bad thing. Thanks to Greg Hinkle for sending me the link to Maybury’s Deviant Art site. Read Maybury’s site & blog. Stalk him on Twitter.
I was totally psyched to share the Storm image with you, dear reader, and then I came across Maybury’s version of Magik! Storm and Illyana have shared a mini-series before, so I thought it would be fun to celebrate both art pieces today! Magik looks scrappy and determined. And again, Maybury incorporates words into the artwork itself. Great stuff.