Errant Story, by Michael Poe, is another of the comics I read on a regular basis. I’ve been reading him for a long time – found it about the time it started, back in the middle of 2002.
Let’s get the warnings off first. NSFW. Occasional nudity. Sex. Violence. Worst of all, a story where the good guys aren’t necessarily good and the bad guys aren’t necessarily bad – a story where your brain cannot remain on hold. Well, it can – the artwork (black and white) is pretty good. Oh – but no cheesecake. Poe CAN do cheesecake, but there really isn’t any here. (Well, not on a regular basis. See Occasional nudity.) Oh, wait, I haven’t told you anything about it.
At its core it’s a classic Hero’s Walk. Hero starts as an innocent, gains skills and knowledge as he/she simultaneously learns that the world known isn’t the real world, and moves toward stopping The Evil (or at least The Wrong.) Here’s the twist, though. Normally every Hero has a Mentor. In this series, the Mentors (yes, I did plural) are also Innocent Heroes – though you won’t recognize them as such up front. Several thousand years ago Elves and Half-elves went mutually genocidal. The war petered out between 2 and 3 thousand years ago from both sheer exhaustion and a relative lack of participants, but the reasons for it all still exist. Humans filled the vacuum created by both sides withdrawing for a time, and it’s now pretty much a Human world. But a few elves get sent out to find and eliminate half-elves (errants) – these are called rangers. Yeah, quite some twisting.
Our first hero is a half-elf. Our second hero is an elf, who WAS going to eliminate the first but has some reasons to wonder if the policy is wrong. Our third hero is a human assassin. There are a few major secondary characters who are NOT cardboard, and whos stories intertwine with those of our heroes. There are also some specials – the comic relief, for example, is an indestructible speaking (sarcastic, foulmouthed), flying cat – pet to our first hero.
Poe says the book will last through nine chapters, and we’re currently somewhere in the middle of chapter 5. I keep coming back. I think you will too.