Sojourn Vol. 1 [DVD]

Michael Arner

It's a digital comic book with a strong female protagonist.

Sojourn Vol. 1 [dvd]

Publisher: PUBLISHER
Writer: Ron Marz
Item Type: Comic
Publication Date: 2003-09

"We build our lives around ourselves like a careful fortress. And each morning when we open our eyes, we arrogantly expect what we've built to be there for us."

That is one of the great lines from Sojourn.

At first, it just refers to changes that can occur when people become too complacent and take the future for granted. We can follow its eerie prescience to the demise of the comic book format, the fading comic book company that created the original stories or this new format which, properly marketed, could engender new fans into the dying monthly comic book format.

Sojourn begins with a prequel issue about the death of Mordath and the hero Ayden coming out of "retirement" to slay Mordath for the freedom of the Five Lands. Ayden is a great hero who wants to retire from the life of battle, and he feels himself a failure. He no longer wishes to be involved in the affairs of man. Whether he is man or god, we are not yet privy to. He breaks an arrow into five pieces, and if they are ever put back together, he will return to help.

Mordath is revived after 300 years, bitter because of the barren physical husk he lives in. He cannot enjoy any of the tactile joys of life because of the mortal wound that Ayden caused.

Then begins the introduction of our heroine. The beautiful Arwyn vows to destroy the villain Mordath, revenge for what he has done to her and her family. In the great tradition of all heroes, Arwyn is helping someone in danger as she is introduced. Our story's narrator, Gareth, isn't introduced until the third issue. Our final major character, Neven, is introduced and her motivations are not yet explained in this group of issues. The story, even if it sounds familiar, is quite interesting and rich in characterization.

The Digital Comic Book format is completely new to me, as it likely is to most. I had read about it when it was first announced but I never saw a copy for sale. I have to say that I found it quite enjoyable and I look forward to seeing more of the new format. Finding them, though, seems to be a bit difficult. While the Intec Interactive site did list merchants who had the discs, when I linked to them, there was nothing to be found. Looking on the big e-seller site, they are quite plentiful and at a very inexpensive $5 to $10 each for a seven issue story chunk.

Each DCB issue is approximately eight to 12 minutes long. The voice-over work was very professional and well above my expectations (which was set at Saturday morning cartoon level). The weakest voice acting was, unfortunately, for our lead character, Arwyn. Her weaknesses may have been enhanced, though, because the rest of the package was so strong. This, however, is a personal quibble, and should not discourage anyone from checking out this format.

The DVD contains seven total issues and a nice selection of extras including previews for other CrossGen titles. Voice-over work brings energy to the word balloons which nicely glide over the artwork. Panning over the artwork creates "movement" and, at times, I felt as if I was watching a low-budget cartoon with simple, limited animation. Some blurring occurs on quick pans, and the background music is interesting and definitely adds to the drama.

As a comic book reader for over 20 years, this DCB format is one I rolled my eyes at upon first hearing about it. The ease of viewing (on PlayStation 2, Xbox, DVD players and computers) makes this very accessible to most everyone. If you love comic books, or are looking for an enjoyable story with a strong female protagonist, this is definitely something to look for.

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.