Knights and Canvas #0 Review

knights and Canvas review

This week I am going outside the box and talking about a book I don’t think tons of people are aware of… don your best hipster outfit and join me as I talk about Monkeybrain Comics newest (?) title, Kings and Canvas #0, written by Neil Kleid, with art by Jake Allen.

This book kind of came out of nowhere only to blow me away. I was intrigued by the title as I was looking at the latest releases. Picking up the book, I flipped through (and enjoyed) the art before starting to read it. Now before I get into what I thought of the writing and art I need to talk about the story. Basically this story is about a world where boxing is the ultimate form of duelling. The world is kind of a post-apocalyptic future, where knights, instead of jousting or fencing, box. They have a set of rules they basically live by.

The main character, an imprisoned man named Mammoth, tells a story about a knight boxing a dragon to win a princess’s hand in marriage. The story of the knight and the dragon really serves to explain the rules that these men live by. The knight wins magic boxing gloves by killing the dragon, and in turn wins the hand of the princess. According to Mammoth, this story is not about him but instead a man he knew. I think the story is about him, because, towards the end of the book, Mammoth ruthlessly and efficiently escapes the jail, killing a lot of the guards. He is clearly a man not to be messed with.

The writing in this book is absolutely fantastic. I love a lot of what Kleid did in this issue. He weaves a really great world in a really fun way. I love how he blends the fantastical tale of the knight and the dragon, which really feels like a fairytale, with the gritty, darkly real world of a prisoner in a work camp. I am very much looking forward to reading more of this book. If there is more of this book please leave me a comment — I would love to hear what others have to say about it.

Now the art in this book is a little more cartoony then I usually like, but in this case I love it. I think it works wonderfully in two ways. First it makes the story of the knight and dragon feel more like a fable, the dragon looks great and terrifying, and the knight is very heroic. The second reason is that it makes the jail and the prisoners so much bleaker, making the world much darker.

Like I said I am really looking forward to reading more of this book, its 5/5, read it, love it, do it now!

Andrew Dearborn
About Andrew Dearborn (81 Articles)
Andrew Dearborn is a part-time reviewer, long-time reader, and occasional video gamer. He grew up in a small Southern Manitoba town and, as many from his area tend to do, migrated to the "big city" of Winnipeg, where he works full time as a bookseller and event facilitator for McNally Robinson as well as a substitute teacher. He is actively pursuing a career in teaching, having received his Bachelor of Education in high school History and English from the University of Manitoba in 2013. While attending the University of Manitoba he was lucky enough to have one of his many short stories, "Socrates' Last Drink", published in The Manitoban. Andrew is also a bilateral cleft palate, a Mennonite, and a nerd, having started his comic book collection at the tender age of seven with a small stack of hand me down Spider Man and Jack Kirby-drawn Eternals issues. In his spare time he reads, writes and talks... incessantly.
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