From UK-based small press publisher Accent, this anthology does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a collection of five short tales, or moments, all with a classic adventure story feel. Creator Colin Mathieson has written and illustrated all the stories, and has brought on board colourists Matt Soffe and Aljoša Tomić.
The first story, Day of the Dead Moon, looks at the Battle of Isandlwana from the Anglo-Zulu war, and sees a supernatural force meddling in its outcome. Next up is Ye Erymanthian Boar, which translates a classic Hercules tale into the world of highwaymen, then Bad Blood, a short but bittersweet tale of sibling rivalry. Come and Buy My Toys follows the colourfully named Cornelius Macbeth, a Napoleonic ghostbuster who confronts the spirit of a young girl in the alleys of Edinburgh. Finally, there’s Dreams & Nightmares, a one-pager inviting us into the sleeping mind of Robert Louis Stevenson.
It’s a nice variety of settings, pleasantly depicted in Mathieson’s uncomplicated art style, and the two colourists do a good job of giving each tale a distinct atmosphere. The adventure story tone of the comics can seem old-fashioned, the Zulu-esque Day of the Dead Moon in particular, and the stories tend to end exactly how you’d expect from their set-ups, with twists you’ll probably see coming. It’s a style that will put off some readers but charm others. All the stories are action-packed enough for the collection to rattle along at a quick pace, meaning that, even if not all of them work for you, you won’t get bored and will easily get through the whole thing over a lunch break.
If dashing highwaymen and ye olde ghost hunters are your kind of thing, then this well-assembled volume is worth the short chunk of your time it’ll take to read, and you’ll be pleased to know that Accent have a second lot of Moments in the works.
MOMENTS OF ADVENTURE – COLLECTION ONE / WRITER: COLIN MATHIESON / ARTIST: COLIN MATHIESON / PUBLISHER: ACCENT UK / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW