The best thing about working in a comic shop is our customers and I have to thank one of them for recommending the awesome Vinland Saga. Thanks JJ!
For some reason I’m going through a vikings phase, bingeing on Vikings, reading books about them, wearing furry underwear and horned hats. So Vinland Saga came at the right time.
You get thrown into the middle of a battle and introduced to the two main characters; the charmingly cunning Askeladd and the young but deadly Thorfinn. You can tell that these characters have a depth and history but starting with the story with a grand battle lets the story unfold and characters build instead of flopping it all out at once.
The creator, Makoto Yukimura was also responsible for one of my favourite series Planetes. It doesn’t have the angst or wonder that Planetes had, but its more visceral, its about hate, revenge, redemption and power.
The art is good, it veers from realistic to caricature but I don’t mind that, it’s a good story device. The storytelling and aesthetic is flawless. And the writing is deliberate and well paced, by the end of the first volume you get a good understanding of the basic themes and characters but you have no idea where the story is going which is intriguing.
If you haven’t read much manga, this is a good one to start with. 5 out of 5 meads!