Published on July 10th, 2013 | by Richard Boom
Review: Dawn: The Swordmaster’s Daughter
Going retro: I have been a fan of JML for many years but it was áfter the first two series of Dawn, that I became aware of his creation. I have been downloading images on floppy discs since 1994 but somehow the true turnaround and getting into Dawn and JML was when I was talking to a friend of mine, with whom I shared much the same love and interests (bad grrl comics, Kabuki, Darkchylde etc.) and the series of Dawn felt like an anchor between him and me. I still had to get the series as I am very reluctant to getting back-issues for some odd reason, back in the days. But I vowed to get them, once I found out my friend had this massive brain tumour which made him pass onto another world much too soon.
This hurting eventually passed but part of my own grieving process was getting the complete series of Dawn and submerging myself into this new universe. It was as if my friend came back from those other shores and together we were reading the story. And to this day, I still have that odd feeling, that strange sensation and that awkward association whenever I see art by JML.
A few years later I met JML personally as I had the opportunity to invite him for a show in Belgium (F.A.C.T.S.) I do love to help out with. Meeting JML was a true highlight and just speaking with this ‘friendly giant’ and seeing him make such a tremendous impact on every person (crew and fan) he met, was just mesmerizing. He was just ‘there’ but it was enough….
Why this trip down memory lane?
Because to a different extent and through the power of ‘awkward associations’ reading this new JML-comic on Dawn and Darrian feels like getting reacquainted with both Dawn and JML as with my old friend as well as with myself. Odd, awkward… yet welcoming. Back home!
Onto the comic!!
The brisk and fresh art-style of JML is something I can hover over and drool on forever. The lovely thick lines, the detailed anatomy, the immense amount of graphic designs in armor, sword and clothing… it is all so very lush, vibrant and almost alive. The stories… intense, spiritual, funny and always makes your mind come awake to have thoughts transformed into more then just thoughts.
The first story is about Darrian’s youth while learning the way of the sword, the heart and the mind and all of course inspired and led by a woman. And to no surprise it all leads back to Dawn, as it should be because Dawn is the goddess, the mother, the lover, the girl, the wife, the beginning and the end! The great thing of this is, that it seems to tie into the last issue with Darrian heading for New York on that big boat.
The second story is like a dark joke I have heard before. It is funny, witty and feels like an interlude. This is ‘just’ a story and although it is without Darrian or Dawn, it still maintains the JML-magic as well as tackling another honest aspect of life (as well as JML’s work), namely death!
The third story is a prelude to more… it still has the truest of power a small sequence can have under the skilled hands of JML, but this will be the prelude to the new series on Dawn and Darrian in the near future, and this fact just made me shout aloud ‘YES’!!
It also shows Dawn as she can be both woman/lover as well as terrible Goddess, with powers to create as well as destroy.
Powerful reading material, this new one-shot proved to be!
It welcomed me back into the world of Dawn and for that -as well as my associated trip down memory lane- I will forever be thankful to JML!
- Words: Joseph Michael Linsner
- Art: Joseph Michael Linsner
- Publisher: Image Comics
- Price: $3.99
- Release Date: July 10, 2013