Trail of Steel: 1441 A.D. is the graphic novel by Marcos Mateu Mestre. His previous book Framed Ink covers storytelling in graphic form.
This graphic novel uses the techniques he has taught. The story happens in the winter of 1441 A.D. in Spain. A father and his son are on a mission to find some people who pissed off the lady.
The tale unfolds in a cinematic and dramatic manner. Art is amazing. It's in black and white but with the masterful composition, it really gets you close to the action. Characters are carefully placed, directed, and every panel is like a study of tonal value. This book is a good example how powerful composition can be used for storytelling.
At the end of the book are some sketches and his thoughts on the story.
Highly recommended. And definitely check out Framed Ink if you haven't.
The book is available in paperback and hardcover.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
Great illustrations, average story line2013/1/26
The illustrations and the way Marcos layed down the whole visual story line is not less than epic, a truly experienced professional who knows every aspect of story telling and knows exactly how to convey ideas and stories into drawings. I bought this book so I can learn how to make comic/graphic novel as good as he does, together with "Framed ink" you get yourself a really good education on composition for story telling.
The storyline itself in this novel is OK, nothing that exciting but non the less executed superbly, that is why I give it 5 stars.
Well, I've been through this three times in the last two days. First one was a whirlwind, second time I slowed it down and now I'm going through picking apart each page panel by panel. And boy, is it worth it. Each page is a masterclass in sequential layout, and each panel within is lesson in composition. This book is brilliant and should be an essential 'text book' in any artist's library. And if you haven't got Framed Ink by Marcos, buy that now, too.
Fantastic, cool art2013/4/4
Absolute fantastic art. Easy to move from panel to panel. Great eye-candy if you like illustrations by Marcos Mateu-Mestre. The story was decent (didn't blow me away, and was a little predictable at one point), but still a fun book. WARNING, if you have kids, there are a few F-bombs in the book that startled me when I was checking it out. Only a few, but you have been warned.
I think Mestre is a fine example of the artist's artist2014/11/19
I think Mestre is a fine example of the artist's artist: his detailing is fleet and emotive, yet his fearless use of huge shadows reveals a cinematographer's sensibility. The result is striking, big, forceful. The story was okay--honestly, it could have benefited from another panel per page or so, so that the reader felt like he's been through more at the end. But my tastes are an old man's.