Sunday, 15 September 2013


A Redtail's Dream by Minna Sundberg

This was brought to my attention by an Indiegogo email, because it's currently running an (incredibly successful) campaign to publish a print edition. But because it's a webcomic, you can still read the full thing online for free here, which is certainly handy when it comes to decision-making about backing the project -- especially at the prices involved: although you can get a PDF version for as little as $15 (~£9.50), the fact the book will be over 600 pages long in a lavish hardback with a small print run (because hey, it's free online, so if you're gonna pay for a print edition you wanna go all-out) means prices start at $90 (~£57)!

The comic itself, then, is "about a young Finnish lad named Hannu Viitanen and his shapeshifting, talking dog Ville, who are on a journey to bring back the souls of their fellow villagers from the realm of dreams. Much of the story is inspired by Finnish mythology, and it is quite child friendly and lighthearted." The artwork is lovely, a painterly fairy-tale storybook style that would seem to suit a mythology-based family-friendly tale like a glove.

The story itself, in this prologue, is harder to gauge. There's a long preamble with some foxes chatting about their love of buns. It's Quirky and therefore kinda sickly. It's also thick with dialogue and an occasionally unclear arrangement of speech bubbles. Sundberg is working in a second (or third? She's Finnish-Swedish) language here, so some of that is understandable -- indeed, the vast majority of the time you'd never know, as these overly-wordy pages are the kind of thing you could see in any young person's (she started it in her second year of uni) first dabble in the medium.

At the minute I'm a little torn: I really like the art and it sounds like the hardback will be glorious, and show the artwork off beautifully; but I'm not sold on the writing/storytelling style in the prologue. The plot summary intrigues me though, and perhaps things settle down as Sundberg gets more experienced? The campaign doesn't end for another 2½ weeks, so maybe I'll just get stuck into reading it in the meantime.

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