Writer: David M. Booher
Artist: Drew Zucker
Colorist: Vittorio Astone
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Everybody loves the underdog. Despite how daunting the task, they push and persevere to accomplish things that everyone else thought was impossible. We relate to these characters because in our own lives, we’re almost always the underdog. Sometimes we personify the odds and make it out as bully. When it comes time to stand up to that bully, we find out what can be accomplished with just a little bit of heart. Canto is a story about that heart.
This fantasy tale is set in a world ruled by the one they call the Shrouded Man and Canto’s race of short-statured axe-wielding tin-men are his slaves. Our tiny hero is given the name Canto by the one he loves in a place where both loving someone and having a name is strictly forbidden. Upon discovering that the two lovers had broken these rules, their slavers punish the offenders leaving Canto’s love in a critical condition. David Booher then sets our brave little guy out on an adventure that leads him to face his bully and find a way to restore his broken love. Sounds pretty cut and dry, I know. But much like the physical appearance of our protagonist, there’s more to this story than how it sounds and it’s the kind of lighthearted read that I think we need more of, given the current situation of the entire world.
Drew Zucker’s art is perfect for this story. Aside from Canto’s obvious overload of cuteness and puppy dog eyes, the sequences of this comic’s panels are simply wonderful, the creatures are strange and appealing, and what impressed me the most was, with clever use of angles and perspective, Zucker’s ability to give so much emotion to Canto’s helmet of a head.
I recommend this to anyone looking for something to read that isn’t somehow tied into a impending apocalypse. This story has so much fight in it, but it doesn’t compromise itself with overly dark tones and foreshadowing nor does have scenes of excessive violence. Rather than relying on those things, both the story and art serve up a epic tale in a tiny package by just being well executed. The entirety of the story will having you rooting for our little underdog and wanting to share it with your own little ones. It’s that damn good.