Valravn by Zhou Fang
Zhou Fang is the SICBA award winning author of Garden. Garden is an arresting work of imagination which fully deserves the praise it has garnered and I really should be reviewing it, but instead I’m taking a look at Valravn. This short comic tells a tale from Viking Denmark.
The Valravn is a raven of great cunning…power and trickery…It would not be easy to catch. It flies only by night, and hunts battlefields for the flesh of kings.
I like crows, ravens, magpies, jackdaws…corvids generally. They are clever, adaptable and sociable. The mother and child in this tale live in the snowy north. The child has met a raven. Could it be the Valravn? Like all headstrong children in tales, they set out to hunt the legendary creature. But the Valravn needs to devour the heart of a child to become human and you should be careful of strangers met in the night.
The risograph printing from Edinburgh’s Out of the Blueprint looks great and is a perfect fit – using just a few blues, yellows and greys to conjure up the raven and the snowy night. The author’s art style combined with this palette lends the comic a naive quality but with an unsettling edge. Like all good folk tales really.
There are so many talented people producing remarkable comics in Scotland today, a visit to a con or a well stocked local comics shop will reveal treasures like this and many more besides. Let the raven devour your heart.
Encounter the author at their website.