3Keys: the Great Ancients to conquer the world

3Keys: the Great Ancients to conquer the world


The first authorial work from one man show is always an important challenge. You find yourself having to prove something, even to yourself, trying to show off what you have learned, how much your imagination and your art can offer to readers, becoming a tough test for any author. A challenge to which David Messina also underwent, who after having lived adventures with some of the most beloved superheroes in the world of comics, decided to test himself with a solo project. A choice that led to the birth of 3Keys, a new series that winks at urban fantasy, of which Shockdom has just published the first chapter.

The experience gained by Messina in his numerous collaborations with the big names of superheroic comics obviously made themselves heard, but the most dangerous aspect of 3keys was giving life to a story that could fascinate readers, looking for a soul to the spectacular tables created by Messina. Within a world like that of entertainment where everything has already been said, told and seen, sometimes the key is not so much the what as how you want to present a story. A concession that can be made to the authors, who in any case inspired by those who are the cult with which we all grew up are inspired by them, choosing to offer their way of reworking these traditional concepts. A path that, evidently, Messina has decided to follow, making it not a simple 'copy and paste' operation, but almost playing, even having fun, with some of the great sacred monsters.

3Keys: David Messina faces the Great Ancients

Term not used at random, sacred monsters. The basis of the fantastic world conceived by Messina for 3Keys, in fact, sinks into the lore of Lovecraft, probably one of the authors we turn to most often when looking for inspiration. Just think of the recent Miskatonic, in which Lovecraft's cosmic horror is intertwined with a social analysis of America of the period, or Even Death Can Die, a comic based on CMON's Cthlhu: Death May Die, whose roots are firmly rooted in Lovecraft's horror fiction. Messina chooses a new path, making the myth of the Ancients a starting point for a modern story, suited to the taste of contemporary readers, accustomed to a more dynamic and rapid narrative. Choice made however respecting the source of inspiration, which is however embellished by the vision of Messina.

if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1"). Is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh2_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh2 "); } From their dominion in the Dreamland, the Great Ancients are now in the process of invading our world. Moving into the dream limbo where human minds arrive during sleep, these beings are shaping the psyche of some humans, prompting them to perform nefarious actions that amplify their powers. In the past, different peoples have lined up to oppose their will, including the inhabitants of the City of Ulthar, a warrior society of anthropomorphic tigers that was finally destroyed by the Great Ancients.

Three survivors of Ulthar, however, managed to escape to Earth, where they became the guardians of three young women, heirs of Randolph Carter, the famous traveler of Lovecraft. These young women have the power within them to stop the advance of the Great Ancients, thanks to the training given to them by the three survivors of Ulthar.

The absolute protagonist is Noah, one of Carter's three heirs, protected by the feline warrior. Theon. Restless, irresponsible and reckless, Noah is anything but classic heroine. Deeply anchored in the nerdy world, considering that she works in a New York comic shop, Noah suddenly finds herself involved in a series of rapid events that upset her life of revelry and clashes with incredible monsters, leading her to become fully aware of her role. >
if (jQuery ("# ​​crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1"). is (": visible")) {console.log ("Edinet ADV adding zone: tag crm_srl-th_culturapop_d_mh3_1 slot id: th_culturapop_d_mh3"); } As can be easily understood, 3Keys does not end in a single volume, but lives within a broader saga. This is why the volume of Shockdom has the difficult task of being a first step that knows how to intrigue readers, giving enough elements to understand the potential of the story but at the same time leaving the right questions open to push to read the following chapters. Messina shows that she has understood this delicate game of balances, offering a quick and engaging reading in which all the essential elements of this fantastic world are perfectly portrayed.

Noah and her surroundings are portrayed on a narrative level with freshness , we rely on a quick story but not poor in character and details, which wants to portray a contemporary reality, made up of social networks and jokes, in which the clashes with the villains are made even more intriguing by a thin network of quotes and references to the pop culture that creates an empathy between reader and story. Quotes that do not want to be an overwhelming imposition, but a sharing, demonstration of how Messina wanted to instill his own taste as a reader, rather than a narrator, in his story, basing at the root a dialogue with the readers, made up of suggestions that have been reworked with a particular inventiveness, both in terms of the plot and in the visual story.

Demons, fights and quotations

A visual narrative that does not remain on the surface of the story, but which emerges when the reader delves into the most curious details of 3Keys, hidden despite being in plain sight. Everything revolves around the dream dimension, which unites two famous names in the world of narrative culture: the aforementioned Lovecraft and the much more tender world portrayed by Bill Waterson with his strips of Calvin & Hobbes. If for the Providence writer the dream dimension was a harbinger of danger and horror, for Waterson the imagination of little Calvin allowed his teddy tiger to be a living creature, the more mature and measured part of him that advised him. Messina recognizes the two essential traits of Lovracraft and Waterson, giving life to an imaginative and suggestive crasis in which these souls are intertwined in a dynamic and emotionally engaging vision.

It is difficult, in fact, not to review the relationship between Noah ( portrayed not casually with a striped T-shirt similar to that of little Calvin) and Theon a more modern and adult version of the Calvin & Hobbes dynamic. A Messina divertissement that becomes the vital spark of a mature story, capable of bringing out the personality of the characters, in which one is not necessarily pure, but often compromises, with all the consequences of the case.

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The narrative system of 3keys is a valid example of the principle of 'how' to tell already known stories. Reduced to a minimum, Messina's plot has elements already read in other works, from the Lovecraftian cycle to Boneallian reminiscences such as Gea or Jonathan Steel, but the author's intuition is the reworking of these concepts in a current key, in which the integration of other themes, such as the ironic vision of the perception of the nerdy world, offer a different perspective, giving the whole a liveliness that finds a perfect visual interpretation in Messina's drawings.

3Keys by its nature is a deeply dynamic story, which required a precise graphic definition. Messina excels in this aspect, showing himself to be an artist with a decidedly happy hand. It would be enough to mention the perfection of the characterization of Noha, sinuous and seductive without ever being vulgar in the most 'normal' moments of the story, capable of conveying not only sensuality but also fragility and a magnetic emotional intimacy. Messina plays with its protagonist, moves her not only in the cartoons, but also within the table itself, with an impeccable, lively and never banal mastery of the graphic story, which breaks the rules of a rigid cage by bending them to the vivacity of its protagonists. .

The muscularity of the Messina models is dictated by the care of small anatomical details, by the movements of elements such as tattoos or by the painstaking care of Teoh's feral anatomy, which in the fight scenes shows his animalistic trait despite the anthropomorphy. Messina exhibits expertise in managing these peculiarities, inserting them in tables that cleverly exploit verticality and horizontal movements to impress a convincing kinetics, accompanying the exploits of its heroes with a convincing perception of space.

The first volume of 3Keys convinces by the sum of the different characteristics of this initial chapter, which despite showing a partial weakness in terms of initial inspiration, does not take long to bring out its own character, dynamic and defined, which fascinates and intrigues. If we add to this the evident fun of Messina in giving life to a series of quotes and references to the Italian comic scene, from the presence of well-known faces in the New York comic shop or in the final meander, it emerges as one of the strengths of 3Keys is the genuine passion of an author in offering himself to his readers, sharing a common background pushing him in new directions.

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