By Nolan P. Smith
(Victor Valley)– Every so often, I come across a book that surprises me. Canto completely caught me off guard with its fantastic story, art and most of all, heart.
From David M. Booher with art by Drew Zucker, Vittorio Astone, and Deron Bennett, this hard to find book from IDW is a significant surprise to readers and retailers everywhere. So what is Canto about? In a land full of fantasy and misery known as Arcana, we meet a race of tin men and women whose hearts are taken and replaced with clocks as they become slaves to a cruel kingdom. It’s all they have ever known, they aren’t even allowed names: but one has a name, and, you guessed it, it’s Canto.
But when Canto’s name is discovered, his female friend takes the blame and punishment, leaving her near death and in need of a heart. This prompts Canto to leave the familiar lands he knows and journey to the unknown, in search of a heart for the women that has his heart, figuratively. Done in the same vein as the Wizard of Oz, this all-ages story has a tremendous start with its first issue. Booher crafts a tale that grabs hold right from the beginning and doesn’t let go. A simple tale of courage and the power of love, I can see this book spawning into an animated film, toys, and more. Zucker, Astone, and Bennett create a lush landscape with amazingly unique characters, emotional storytelling through the eyes of the tin people alone, and threats that look like they leaped off of an anime.
I loved Canto #1; I just wish I could find a physical copy! I have searched numerous shops across Southern California and no luck, even the SDCC version sold out before I could get one. Thankfully I have a digital version, but this is a book you will want to pick up and hold on to. I cannot wait for what comes next for Canto.