Skal is a mature web comic series set in an Arabian-inspired desert fantasy. The story revolves around Mushirah a mysterious woman who is first introduced trapped in a cell with her lips stitched together – rough deal. After receiving help to escape, she is soon left alone to seek sanctuary in a city fraught with crime and people that can't be trusted, her enemies are not far behind. It is evident Mushirah is a powerful woman but her intentions remain a mystery thus far.
The comic's sole creator Jennie Gyllblad uses watercolours, inks and pencil to illustrate the lavish and colourful world she has created. Although rough around the edges Gyllblad certainly has a talent with colours that add texture and give life to her characters. Her passion for the opulent colours and luscious costumes is evident with the detail and boldness of her work. The layout of her pages are filled with character from the backdrops to the actions of the people she illustrates making her work rather unique.
Despite its semi-dark and mature content there are comic relief characters such as the young Voresh, a streetwise pickpocket scraping her way out of mountainous debt. She knows her way around the town and the people in it but has a cocky sense of confidence that gets her into trouble. There is also muscle man Omran a reluctant ‘weapon for hire' who is forced to protect Mushirah although he does not trust her. Gyllblad has built very alluring characters that seem to be the focal point of her story. As she slowly introduces Mushirah to the audience she throws in some very well developed personalities that bring the story to life and hopefully there will be more to come that will help flesh out the story.
As a free to read web comic, Skal is funded by Patreon- a funding site that allows patrons to support their favourite creators and artists through the making of their own creations. You can receive extra stuff such as art and, in Jennie Gyllblad's case, nude sketches as rewards. So if that’s something you are interested in then sign up! As a mystery escapade, Skal does not fall short. It's an intriguing adventure, as Gyllblad slowly reveals Mushirah's purpose within the plot. For all we know so far she could be something evil.
SKAL (ISSUES 1 AND 2) / AUTHOR & ARTIST: JENNIE GYLLBLAD / PUBLISHER: PATREON / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (ONLINE)