Though he’s warm, friendly and one dang hard worker with a clean but fluid style, Chris Schweitzer is not a cartoonist you might have heard of. You’re more likely to run across him in the pages of Comics Journal than you will Wizard. His art isn’t flashy but a nuanced blend of intuition built on the pillars of experience and reverence for those who came before him.
Last year Oni press published his first graphic novel entitled Crogan’s Vengeance, a chapter in a multi-generational story of a family of adventurers and the challenges they face in their respective historical eras..
Crogan’s Vengeance involves the modern day family of the Crogans, specifically the father teaching his son life lessons to help him deal with common schoolyard problems by retelling the story of their great pirate ancestor, Crogan the Cat. Pirate Crogan is an ethical swashbuckler of the Errol Flynn variety. Hoping to escape the harsh life of the 18th century sailor, forced against his will into backbreaking labor and no justice, Crogan carves out his own path for success and freedom but has to grapple with some of the fundamental, often bloody realities of a pirate’s life.
Chris Schweitzer hits the perfect blend of historical research and Carl Barks inspired adventure to pull that classic comic book slight-of-hand trick reserved for masters of the art form: to educate while you entertain. Imagine the movie Pirates of the Caribbean only COMPLETELY accurate from a historical perspective and you can see why these young adult graphic novels are PERFECT from budding historians or reticent scholars.
I’m delighted Schweitzer’s sophomore graphic novel will be on the shelves soon. Hopefully this week, but with the way comics are solicited you might need to hold your breath for a week or two.
Crogan’s March, W/A Chris Schweitzer, Oni Press
This time around we focus on Peter Crogan of the French Foreign Legion in the year 1912. This gets me really excited because I can sum up my knowledge of the French Foreign Legion in two pop-culture references: Marty Feldman staring in “The Last Remake of Beau Geste” and an episode of Danger Mouse. I know it’ll take place in a desert, but after that all bets are off.
The product description of the book on Oni’s web site promises sand storms, murder, starvation, death, crushing commitment and a man-eating beast! Sounds great!
Finding new talent and supporting tomorrow’s creators today is the goal of every comic columnist. Chris Schweitzer is what cartooning is all about: a talented creator telling entertaining stories that are as visually arresting as they are emotionally rewarding. All this and edutainment, too?! Yippeeee!!
Like I said, I have no dang idea when this book is shipping. Could be last week, could be next. For all you folks on the fence as for a fun, single issue comic to pick up that is DEFINETLY shipping this week, might I recommend Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #7? It’s going to have everybody’s favorite wise-crackin’ mutant soldier-for-hire trying to break through to the Marvel Zombieverse to return his own homesick Zombie doppelganger’s head, only to fall into alternate realities drawn by Kyle Baker and Rob Liefeld. YES, THAT ROB LIEFELD.
Absolutely guaranteed to be complete madness from cover to cover. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya’!