Back in the mid/late 90′s, Zander Cannon debuted a comic book called THE REPLACEMENT GOD. Many of you may know Cannon’s work with Alan Moore and Gene Ha (he did layouts for Ha) on TOP TEN or perhaps his solo work with Moore on the SMAX miniseries that was just collected into trade format not too long ago. But well before either of those acclaimed works, he published TRG through SLAVE LABOR GRAPHICS (under their AMAZE INK imprint). From the moment I saw the first issue on the rack and opened the cover, I was hooked. It was Cannon’s art that initially grabbed me. His work is hard to describe… it’s beautifully rich use of black, fluid line work (which only got more so when he transitioned from using pen to brush) and his quirky and unique storytelling was a visual feast. And his story about a young slave named KNUTE who escapes his dungeon prison and goes on a journey of self-discovery and destiny fulfillment was a joy to read. Cannon’s writing had extraordinary depth… his characters seemed real and he layered subtext and nuance into his story. THE REPLACEMENT GOD was suffused with dark humor mixed with danger and tragedy. And it was intelligent. VERY intelligent. It was a joy to read something that seemed obviously so well thought out and well planned. It was fantasy in a medieval setting — but not the fantasy of.. say, TELLOS (which is near and dear to my heart, of course…!). It was a fantasy more of the quest– and not so much of encounters with dragons, wizards, changelings and the like (although there were some fairies). It was….. special.
The majority of the issues from his short-lived series were collected into a trade in 1997– and I have a copy of that, thankfully. Unfortunately (for me, at least), there was a sort of one-shot special/finale that Cannon produced that I never got my hands on. I remember coming in to the studio one morning to find my buddy Richard Case, having just returned from a trip up north to visit family. He was gleefully thumbing through this book… and I was immediately envious (OK, outright JEALOUS). I’ve had an eye out for it ever since, but I’ve never run across a copy. I’m sure eventually I will… but until that happens, I’m on my own quest to obtain that elusive gem.
I miss THE REPLACEMENT GOD. It was one of those books I waited for with great anticipation.
This is Entry 189.