Reading Pile: The Spire TP
It only took me like what, six years to finish reading a book I knew I liked. Here we finally are though, and now I want the Henson company to make a live-action mini-series adaptation because I really love the style and design of this world.
The Spire is an odd mix between fantasy, mystery, dystopian sci-fi, lgbtq+ romance, and some comedy for good measure. Set in a spire shaped city structure in the middle of a wasteland, the story follows the commander of the city watch who also happens to be from a non-human species known as the Medusi. The Medusi are one of a range of species called the Sculpted, and while the series never really gets into their origins they seem to have a golem-esque quality to their nature.
The core push of the series follows the political and racial tensions occurring after the Spire Baron has passed away and his daughter is set to be crowned the new ruler. A series of murders revolving around the royal family take place while the new would-be Baroness is calling the inhuman subjects of the kingdom back to the Spire to pledge fealty. It's a race against the clock as Commander Sha attempts to solve the murders while a potential war with radical anti-sculpted extremists threatens to consume the city.
I'm a fan of both Spurrier's writing and Stokely's art, so this collaboration hits a lot of sweet spots for me. It has an engaging amount of world building that's nicely balanced against a well crafted plot and strong character scripting. Plus all of this is enhanced by the strong narrative flow and design work Stokely puts into the crafting of the story.
The collection clocks in at 208 pages for $29.99, so you save a bit of money over the original single issues. It's a decent chunk of reading as well, but not horribly dense either as the plotting and action are well balanced. So I have no real excuse for dragging my feet besides laziness, but hey I just think of it as a delayed present to myself.
Spurrier and Stokely both name drop Nausicaa and Heavy Metal as key influences, so that should give you a good handle on some of the tone and style you can expect. I also get heavy Jim Henson vibes from this as well, especially when it comes to the more inhuman looking Sculpted. I know that there's no reason to ever hope for such a project to exist in the future, but one can dream....