Centuri Way of the Ninja #4

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2007
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Centuri Way of the Ninja #4 Creator(s): Trevor Frick
Publishers: Idea to Paper Studios
From: Canada
Price: US$ 2.00

This 21 page black and white comic is the fourth instalment in Trevor Frick’s ongoing tale of a Ninja alien and his travels and travails. In this fourth part he seeks revenge for the murder of his Ninja master at the hands of a gruesome bunch of alien fiends.

As such this is primarily an action romp. The dialogue is sparse but well edited and the writing is tight. The fact that the font size changes a little randomly is off putting but does not detract from the overall visual effect of this comic.

The page layout is effective and, on the whole, uncluttered. This works as it gives the artwork that is presented space to breath. The exception is the main fight scene where even though the frame size is large the art work is just a little too busy and the focus tends to get lost.

The art work overall is confident. I like the fact that the comic has obviously been hand drawn as this gives it a nice organic feel. Nowhere is this more noticeable then on the opening pages where the pen lines can be clearly scene in the blacked out outer space background. It is nice to see that good looking comics can still be created with nothing more than imagination and a black pen.

The main character himself is a cute little alien, heavily influenced by our standard image of what an alien could look like. Big bald head, tiny body, large eyes etc. I’m not sure that when we think of aliens we have them partnered with a cat but obviously our Trevor does.

The storyline is heavily indebted to basic Ninja philosophy of loyalty, respect and a fair helping of violence, and that is really what the comic gives us. Not a lot necessarily happens from the point of narrative development but the action scenes have a real dynamic quality and the use of movement lines are well handled. In places it has an almost ‘filmic’ nature about it, especially with the zooming in technique employed on the first page.

It is not deep, it is not necessarily new but it has an endearing charm and it is well designed, with an adventurous array of frame sizes being utilised and well written. In the final analysis it is this tightness that makes it an enjoyable read, especially for a younger audience who would relate to the ‘cartoony’ characters and the recognisable plot.

In a Word: Space-ial.

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