Writer and artist Colin Mathieson thrilled us last year with his first volume of short, twisting tales of derring-do. Now Mathieson and colourist Aljoša Tomić are back with a second volume of Moments of Adventure.
The stories are as varied and fantastical as the first collection. It begins with Null ‘n’ Void, a near-future tale in which an insurance agent visits a widow, only to find her dead husband left behind an unusual robot butler. The twist is quite predictable, but it’s presented with style. Next up is Smokes, a short but affecting story about an elderly veteran being reminded of a war memory. A Tale of Two Maps returns to the fantastical and historical style that Mathieson revels in, being a proper swashbuckling pirate adventure (though the use of pirate dialogue is a tad over the top, me hearties). Finally, Neighbourhood Threat brings back the character of Cornelius Macbeth, a Napoleonic ghost-hunter; this time, the ghost he encounters in a graveyard is a man with some serious sins to repent for.
It does seem that the quality of the storytelling has stepped up a little since the first volume, with the darker themes explored in Smokes and Neighbourhood Threat adding a level of depth. And while a couple of the stories’ endings don’t feel as surprising as they perhaps could, the short length of each tale means there’s always something new around the page. Though Mathieson’s art isn’t particularly detailed and panel compositions are occasionally awkward, the simple style fits well with the stories, and Tomić’s colours give each one a distinct and atmospheric palette.
All in all, this is an enjoyable collection of tales that will easily entertain you over a lunch break. It’s published by UK small press company Accent UK and is worth picking up next time you see them at a convention.
MOMENTS OF ADVENTURE – COLLECTION TWO / AUTHOR & ARTIST: COLIN MATHIESON / PUBLISHER: ACCENT UK / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW