When we think of the name “Icarus,” there are a few things that come to mind: a boy, wings, falling in some fashion. In the original Greek myth, Icarus flies too close to the sun at his peril. Here, Icarus falls into a dormant volcano, and that’s where the similarities end.
Taking the concept of a winged young man in their own direction, writer Gregory A. Wilson and artist Áthila Fabbio present what looks to be a dynamic, compelling, and hopeful fantasy adventure story with their graphic novels “Icarus” and “Jellinek.”
An Uplifting Story
“Icarus” and “Jellinek are two graphic novels of the same series, following the eponymous characters: Icarus, an amnesiac young man with wings, and Jellinek, an out-of-luck “flamepetal prospector”. Jellinek also travels with his “two-tailed, four-legged, lava resistant companion, Rig.” Together, they will all have to solve the mystery of Icarus’ identity and save their worlds.
Wilson, in a video on the Kickstarter page, talks about how he wrote the story with his (then-unborn) daughter in mind. His intentions while writing seem to be a partial response to the tumultuous times following the Great Recession. There is something touching about Wilson using his story to offer hope in earnest to readers.
This is a “story of wonder, of friendship, and of a battle to overcome tyranny, with creatures who discover that what unites them at the core is more important than what divides them on the surface,” according to the project’s Kickstarter page. In a genre plagued by grit, “Icarus” and “Jellinek” are tales rooted in positivity. Because of this context, there is a lot of potential for the story to be refreshing in it’s message. And perhaps it will be a much needed reminder in this day and age of what adventure stories can be.
The art, as illustrated by Áthila Fabbio is beautifully and breathtakingly rendered, with a unique sensibility about it. There is something about it that feels very classic, without feeling outdated. There is a masterful interplay between the coloring and the inking as well. The fluidity of the watercolor stands in nice contrast to the stark boldness of the inks. There are also very lovely and distinct palettes that heighten the moods throughout the story; the entirety of the book will surely be a treat to experience.
There are a lot of dynamic shots, which is encouraging for fans of action and adventure. The panel compositions and the angles that we see the world in work together to create really engaging sequences. The setting of the story itself is intriguing and otherworldly in it’s size, scope, and feel. All of these visual components work in tandem with each other to really draw the reader into the world.
“Icarus” and “Jellinek” have a lot going for them: they have the potential to be meaningful, fun, dynamic, and beautiful. The Kickstarter website labels this project as a “project we love” for a good reason: the creators have really poured their hearts into this story, and it shows!
Wilson, Fabbio, and the team behind the project have done a lot to get this project to take off. Now it’s up to backers to help this project soar. If you’re interested in supporting them, you can do so right here.