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Kodiak (One-Shot)

by King on November 09, 2014

Kodiak Main Image
Writer: Joe Hill/Jason Ciaramella
Artist: Nat Jones
Publisher: IDW

The appeal of fairytales and fables is one that I pray never dies, and that seems to echo more through Disney movies and other such reimaginings than tasteful inventions of new, and fresh stories. Maybe that’s why I found myself to be such a fan of Kodiak right off the bat: some call it bias, I’ll stick with nostalgia (little of column A, little of column B?).
            In a seemingly age old tale, we are introduced to a humble fire-breathing protagonist, who is a member of a traveling circus. Becoming enamored with the daughter of the hosting village’s duke, he incurs the wrath of her twin brother, and comes to be wrongfully imprisoned, as well as to come face to face with the eponymous bear.
            Many arguments I’ve heard concerning this story regard its straightforward nature, and I can only respond with: What’s wrong with that? I’m not trying to be pretentious and dig for some deeper meaning that I might have missed, but that’s where Kodiak shines for me; it’s a simple romance from a lot era, without the bells and whistles of the supernatural, drawn out motifs, or some huge overarching story/world requiring too much assumption and backstory to engage the reader (at least to me). There’s nothing wrong with it, and more so I would venture to argue that the lack of such relatively common elements in today’s storytelling seem heartwarming and afford an endearing homage to a simpler time.
In any case, Hill and Ciaramella tag team to deliver one of the most refreshing single issues I’ve read in a good bit, putting forth a story that is simple right from the get go, but still offers a good bit of cathartic release and nostalgia for those who grew up listening to the fables of old. Brevity is often time unappreciated these days, but in its shortness Kodiak imparts a lasting taste more bitter than sweet upon its readers.

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