PrideLands_CoverPrideLands #1 is written and lettered by Dallas Wilson, drawn by Salathiel Anacleto, and published by Rocket Blast Comic Books, one of the newest indie comic publishers to emerge on the scene. This is one of the most unique comics I’ve read and reviewed thus far.

The story follows two different families: a pride of lions in Africa and a streak of tigers in India. We open the story with the tigers hunting a crocodile until they’re driven out by a wildfire. Meanwhile, one of the lionesses is preparing to give birth, but a family of hyenas have plans of vengeance in mind, with the lioness as the target.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this comic, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s well-paced drama and action throughout, with dark and gritty art to match.

I have only two complaints. First, the lettering is confusing at points. The writer and I discussed this already, though, and I have the feeling that he’ll improve as issues move forward.

The second complaint is about the art. It’s satisfactorily gritty, given the dark tone of the comic. But why incorporate the oddball black and white photographs? There were only two I spotted, and they were both in the scenes with the tigers. Having the photographs in for background was too jarring while reading this, because they don’t match the style of art the artist is using.

It’s my hope that, over time, the art and writing in this series will get better and better. I have the hunch that it will.

If you’re a fan of animal comics, this is a must-read. The genre is not what I usually read, but I enjoyed this book. You can get a copy here.