Some time ago I had the opportunity to read the first issue of Kia Wordsmith from the writer Dave West and the artist Ian Ashcroft. I was intrigued by the strong protagonist and the amazing world building of the fantasy setting, so I was happy to get a chance to read issue #2, which is currently funding on Kickstarter. And I was not disappointed by it! West’s writing in the second issue moves the story, building on the first issue and keeping the story consistent in its themes.
The main character Kia continues to be a delight as we follow her on her journey. After her previous adventure in the evening in her home city, she goes about her day like nothing happened, by going to school. We get more insight about her home life. Her dad has clearly disappeared and her mom is a depressed alcoholic due to her missing husband. Kia must be responsible for herself and her mother, with the hope that her father will return.
The fact is that Kia has hope in circumstances that are beyond her control which, in my opinion, makes her an admirable protagonist. There’s no time for her to feel sorry for herself. More mystery around Kia and what exactly she is and why the Wizard is interested in her comes up near the end of the issue, so I can’t wait to see what issue #3 holds. Kia is the stand out character in the series. I think that focusing more of Kia as a character is the best choice since it’s a limited series.
The city of Arrak-Al-tar and its history are expanded upon with the introduction of Street Wolves, a gang I believe. Tensions mounted in the city in the middle of a war and just Kia watching someone die on the way home from school was an excellent way to demonstrate that rising tension. If there was one thing that didn’t make sense was the jump between issue #1 and issue #2. At the end of issue #1, Kia was definitely someplace else. But at the start of issue #2, she was at home in her room having a nightmare. How did she get home? It was just a bit of a jarring jump for me.
The lettering is clear and easy to read. I love the artwork. Ashcroft does an amazing job bringing the fantastical city and its characters to life. The art of the first several pages of this issue brought life to the trippy nightmare nature of the monsters and gods of this world. The creatures in Kia Wordsmith are drawn appropriately creepy in the right moments in the narrative.
All-in-all Kia Wordsmith #2 is a strong follow-up with great artwork, amazing world-building and having the main character adapt and survive. With the consistency and flow of the first two issues, I hope that the writer and the artist bring their best to the final two issues of the comic.