Written by Jeremy Whitley
Art by Jason Strutz
26 pages. Full color.
I met Jeremy at Mysticon this year and he kindly gave me some comics from his small press Firetower Studios. Firetower is based in my home state of NC and in the same city where I lived most my life. One comic, Princeless, was a fabulously funny new take on the fairytale princess which I reviewed here recently. He also gave me the first 3 issues of The Order of Dagonet (signed!) to review and then pass onto some lucky reader.
First, a little history lesson from the back of the first issue. The Order of the Dagonet was created by King Edward VIII to honor outstanding achievements in fields related to entertainment. It was meant in fun as a reference to Sir Dagonet, a jester King Arthur knighted as a joke. Technically all the modern day knighted celebrities carry the same responsibilities and rights as knights of England and could be called upon to protect the Monarchy at any time. That idea formed the basis for this comic book series.
The series starts out with all the mythological faerie creatures of England being released and deciding to take England back because man has mistreated England. A call goes out, from Merlin none the less, for the Knights of England to come to her rescue. Only instead of the mounted warriors Merlin was expecting, he gets the knights of the Order of Dagonet. In this first issue we meet quite a few eccentric characters based on real life personalities. There is an aging rock star by the name of Dizzy Clairborne, an extremely popular children’s author (of those boy wizard books) named Gene Everyman, and a washed-up actor who does sci-fi B-movies, along with a few other characters.
The writing is what really makes this comic series; it is both clever and funny. One of my favorite scenes is in issue #3 when the band of knights, along with an American bookstore sales lady (who is one of my favorite characters,) are trying to fly into England to help and find out they are being re-routed to Wales.
Laverne: “I don’t understand, what’s going on?
Gene: “You’re not British enough to fully understand, but I’ll try to explain. There are two great horrors in the British world. One is that someday we will become part of Europe and no longer be able to look with disdain on the rest of the continent. The other is Wales.”
Laverne: “Come on now, it can’t be that bad. You ever been to South Carolina?”
The story moves at a pretty good pace as it flips between all the main characters' storylines until they all meet up in issue #3 to head to England.
The artwork is a little strange compared to what I am used to in comics. It looks like pastel or chalk drawings, and sometimes is seems a little messy looking. Once I got used to it, though, I think it adds character and sets the comic apart from others in a good way.
|that is Laverne by the way|
When the mythological faerie creatures of England return to wreak havoc on modern day England, the call goes out to our only hope: the Knights of England. Unfortunately, it's the Order of Dagonet that answers the call. A special order of knights created just for the entertainers of England, these actors, authors and rockstars must face the faerie invasion to save the world. Heaven help us all.
Free digital issue
Exeunt All: Our knights have been called, but if they're going to save us, they have to get to England first...and it may require calling in a few favors. Our famous British author must hitch a ride in the American south. Our aged B-movie actor must begrudgingly borrow a plane from a certain rhinestone clad British pop-star. Worst of all, our heavy metal actor must get through a metal detector.
Merry Ole England: As Dizzy finally triumphs over the metal detector, Tottington and Emerald find themselves diverted from Heathrow and forced to face the horrors of Essex...on foot! If that weren't terrifying enough, there are centaurs. And these half-man half-beasts are all fanboy for a certain aging green clad British pop-star. However, nothing compares to the horrors which await Neil Everyman and his new friend LaVerne. Skymall will be the least of their torments!
All Print issues $4.00
Jason Strutz - Art - Jason Strutz is an illustrator of comics and stories, likes dinosaurs, evil scientists, robots, and medium walks on beach. The Order of Dagonet is his ongoing series with writer Jeremy Whitley, he works on Globworld with Action Lab Comics, and does illustration and comics series for Bullspec Magazine, and yet he wants more.
Check out daily webcomics including The Order of Dagonet at www.FiretowerStudios.com and Jason's other work at www.StrutzIllustration.com.
A graduate of The University of North Carolina with a BA in English and Creative Writing, Jeremy lives with his wife Alicia and daughter Zuri in Raleigh, NC. He's a big fan of movies, video games, comics, and literature.
He is currently the writer and co-creator of two comics: "The Order of Dagonet" with Illustrator Jason Strutz and "Princeless" with Illustrator M. Goodwin in conjunction with Action Lab Comics. He and Jason are also in the middle of their run of four comics featured in "Bull Spec" magazine. That comic is titled "The Long Lives of Heroes". Other project include a short story titled "A Crisis of Purpose" for the superhero anthology "No More Heroes" published by Library of the Living Dead Press, as well as the ongoing "Make Your Own Comic" series.
He has a number of other projects in development, including another project with Action Lab, several web-comics for this very site, and a few other scripts for original stories he's kicking around.
I have the first 3 issues (signed) to give to someone. Leave your contact info and tell me your favorite British export- real or fictional <G>
Contest ends: May 7