REVIEW: Dryad Vol. #1 Excels As A First Class Fantasy Comic

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Dryad Volume #1

Dryad an ongoing fantasy series, and if you like comics like Rat Queens, this may be right up your alley. It is written by Kurtis Wiebe (Rat Queens) with art by Justin Barcelo, colors by Justin Barcelo, Meg Casey, and Francesco Segala, with lettering by Jim Campbell.

The Glass family has spent more than a decade hiding from the outside world in the woodland settlement of Frostbrook. Their peaceful existence could not last forever, as secrets rarely say secret. They find themselves on the run from their quiet existence and thrown into the bustling city of Silver Bay. 

Dryad Volume #1 is published by ONI Press and is available on January 6, 2021.

REVIEW: Dryad Vol. #1 Excels As A First Class Fantasy Comic 1


Dryad Volume #1 Review

Dryad has some of the same irreverent feel to it that Rat Queens had, though the tone is a bit softer than the previous comic, at least in the beginning. The story centers around Yale and Morgan, a married couple who have fled the city they lived to protect their young twins, Rana and Griffon. The twins start the story as babies, but a time jump propels us forward, and we see what they are like as teenagers. Like most teens, Griffon and Yale have a rebellious streak, and they wish to find adventure (or at least a bit of excitement) in the quiet town of Frostbrook.

In doing so, they awake a force they are not ready to contend with. 

At this point, we start to realize this story is not a typical fantasy comic. The storytelling and depth of world-building is first class in this graphic novel. With each chapter, the world opens up a bit more and it is a stunning experience. I don’t want to spoil the twist, but I will say I did not see it coming and it definitely raised the stakes and increased my interest in seeing what came next in the story. 

Dryad Vol 1
Dryad Vol 1 – Cover Art

Dryad Vol 1 Art

The artist for Dryad, Justin Barcelo, is a rising name in comics, and he does a fantastic job with the art in this story. It has the same sense of movement and action as similar fantasy stories, while also showing really tender and heartfelt moments with the appropriate gravity. The colors were also very well done, the greens and purples in the palette really give a good sense of fantasy. Still, the darker colors and shadows balance that by indicating that there could be something dangerous lurking in those shadows. 

As the story progresses, all aspects of it deepen. This comic is masterful at telling a fun but compelling story and has the same sort of sarcasm and raw emotion that many people loved about Weibe’s previous work. Volume #1 leaves many questions unanswered, but it introduces fascinating characters and a world that will leave you wanting more.


Engage with the Creators:

Kurtis Wiebe – Facebook

Justin Barcelo – Twitter

Meg Casey – Twitter

Francesco Segala – Twitter

Jim Campbell – Twitter


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