The Battle of Blood and Ink: A Fable of the Flying Cityby Jared Axelrod, Steve Walker (Illustrator)
If you're visiting the flying city of Amperstam without the latest printing of The Lurker's Guide, you might as well be lost. This one-sheet is written, edited, and printed by Ashe, a girl raised on the streets of the flying city, and is dedicated to revealing its hidden treasures and deepest secretsincluding many that the overcontrolling government/i>
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Ashe is riding, while Tolban flies, around the city with other airships around them. Captain Skold is coming in, requesting permission to dock and asylum on the city after the hit his ship has taken by Vrussians getting to Apmerstam. The Provost is ignoring the request! Even with offer of money and supplies from Captain Skold, The Provost still resists. Captain Skold has something The Provost wants more than service and Ashe learns what it is. Ashe smells a story, and something more and dives into the depths of the flying city to find what it is. The Provost left me skeptical about her in the last of the podcasts, and here we pick up where I don't trust her again. Ashe knows the Provost has done worse than what she's doing now, making slaves, and she is set on proving it and publishing it. We do get to see the press page that Ashe publishes. The ACTUAL press page as it's published. This is neat to see her put things in her own words, and gives us the overall feel of what we see in the comic images and statements said by the characters. We see the famous flying city in black and white. At last! It's awesome to see it after listening to the podcasts. Now I get to see all the different areas of the city I learned of in the podcasts as we follow everyone around to these areas. And yes, each section of town is noted so you know where you are. We see many of the characters: Tolban and his flying, Cardor from the hotel in his dress, and many others finally have a face. The tattoo's on Ashes arms have all ways been a curiosity for me, here we see early in the book a design, created by someone we know, that is close to that on Ashe's arms. It brings the wonder back to the front of my mind with these similar designs and those on Ashe. What are they doing? How did Ashe get them too? Now I am curious with all that we have learned about the dreadful engine and these symbols, and the hints from Hanner Gatling that Ashe's answers are here as well. All is answered here. The engine room!!! If you've been following my thoughts on the podcast, you know I've become increasingly curious about this room. What powers the engine? What happens to people down here? Well, it's here! It's all put together right here. I love seeing the secrets of the city, and how they might tie to Ashe. Oh Ashe! We learn more about her past. We also learn the truth of Ashe's tattoos. Ashe has a nose for trouble, and finds it. Trouble and a great story. She finds herself in many scraps, and I love her for it. One tough lady. We learn a little saying of kids on the flying city. "Through thick and thin, Through blood and ink, Clouddogs rule, And coppers stink!" The saying even has been adjusted to who they want to say stinks as well. Such world and culture growth here threw pictures and words. I have to say this story still surprised me with happenings to our friends. Then in the end! Yes, it was a shocker to me to see what happened. I really liked that. Didn't know a graphic novel could hold so much suspense and story to tell. I really liked what I learned here, and the story told. I do hope we get more adventures of Ashe in the future, and of what becomes of the flying city now.
As a fan of all things steampunk, I was thrilled to get my hands on this graphic novel. I read it in one sitting, and can't wait to read what I'm sure will be more wonderful works by this author. The characters are well developed and the storyline flows smoothly.