The first thing everyone notices about a Stjepan Sejic comic is the visual feast he lays before us on every page. He is a master of knowing when to blow a reader away and, perhaps even more importantly, when to pull back on the reins. What some readers may not know, unless they follow him on DeviantArt.com, is that he’s an efficient storyteller with good comedic timing.
Sejic’s latest comic book, Death Vigil, is a reminder of the early Top Cow inventions like The Darkness and Witchblade, both of which Sejic has worked on. It has equal parts edge and humor, drama and whimsy.
Issue #1 follows the story of Samuel Lewis, who is recruited onto the front lines of a supernatural war of good vs. evil. After some time passes, Samuel Lewis has created quite a name for himself and he has no trouble reminding everyone what a badass he is.
Sejic crams an impressive amount of information into this 40-page issue without letting the story lag. It keeps moving forward, adding subtle sub plots and supporting characters without making the reader feel bogged down in the worldly details that only the creator usually cares about. In Death Vigil, we can soak them up and appreciate the innovation that Sejic has brought to his new world. There is a charming scene where Samuel calls in the cavalry and we meet an unexpectedly charismatic crew of dead guys.
The art is exactly what one would expect from Sejic. It’s balanced and advanced, drawing inspiration from art in all corners of the world. He takes a step back from the mesmerizing detail he put into Ravine, and instead gives the comic a more traditional look. It’s still awesome. Sejic knows when detail is needed and when sketchier lines are just as effective.
Death Vigil is one of the more exciting new comic books out right now. With 40 full pages of story and art, this comic should be in everyone’s pull bin this year.