The VeilWalker is a dark fantasy epic chronicling the downfall of The VeilGuard’s greatest Inquisitor. Imagine Men in Black with Demons and Magic instead of Aliens and Tech.
The VeilWalker takes place in a world where a small percentage of the population is born with The Gift, which allows those granted with it to use their mana to cast all kinds of spells. The Order of The Veil Guard was established in the late Middle Ages to protect the gifted ones not only from the ignorance of man but also from the evil spawn of the Veil.
For centuries The Order has balanced the study of the Veil and maintained not just its secrecy but that of the gifted population as a whole. The Veil and why it has weakened at an exponential rate still remains shrouded and, in the days, to come Alexander will witness the Veil ripped as under like never before.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
The creative team of The VeilWalker consists of Stephan Velez (Creator and writer) founder of Oasi Comics, H.P. Francisco (Co-writer and Editor), Sajad Shah (Lead Artist), Leonardo Paciarotti (Colorist), and Eric Weathers (Lettering).
At this point in time when I discovered the project after taking the decision to participate in crowdfunding entertainment, I was familiar with Eric Weathers’ work through the projects received thus far including DragonRage and The Lucent: Waking Dream. I didn’t know the work of anyone else from the team, but I am glad to have discovered that there are interesting stories out there created by such talented artists.
THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
Published by Oasi Comics the book is a 25 paged dark fantasy mystery filled with action, supernatural, horror, mystery, detective noir, and suspense. The graphic novel introduces us to a world of horrors ruled from the shadows by an ancient institution of magicians called “The Order of The Veil Guard”.
The story is for mature audiences (graphic crime scenes and language). Readers will follow the exploits of this order’s most decorated Inquisitor, Alexander Salvador Infamously known as The VeilWalker.
The quality of the softcover copy is quite good. The foil printing makes the stapled floppy more durable, able to withstand multiple handlings. I lend it to a few friends and receive it back still in good condition unlike “The Saints”.
Even though the quality is better you can’t really apricate the art with the foil printing which is why I think it was a good idea by the creators to add a page with the cover art printed on regular paper. The front covers are signed but the signature is not permanent. The copy I lend out was returned with half of the signature.
THE STORY OF THE VEILWALKER
Here is the summary from the creators:
“After the disappearance of an urban explorer is seen on live stream, The head of the Veil Guards Inquisitors branch is tasked with investigating for potential VeilSpawn involvement. However, Alexander soon finds that the greatest challenge he will face tonight was one he thought long subdued. This story will push Alexanders and his skills to their limits, ultimately placing the fate of the world on his ability to find answers he has spent a lifetime searching for.”
The story starts in Danvers Massachusetts at Salem Village. Based on the activities and the language used in the story, it appears to take place during current times.
An influencer goes into a formerly privately owned asylum that was closed in 1998 to make a Livestream on location. He gets captured by a creature of some kind. We see that the incident is witnessed by 3 boys one of which appears to see things the two other boys can’t see.
The story continues with what looks like the hunting of creatures like the one who attacked the influencer. The creatures are hunted by two individuals. With one of them, there is a transformation happening after the creature is defeated. The being who fought the creature is transformed into a human.
We learn the names of the two individuals, Rome and Alexander who present themselves as members of The Order of the VeilGuard. Alexander seems to be the more experienced of the two. Rome is dressed like a university student. Alexander is dressed professionally.
The Order appears to be an organization with the influence to shut down a satellite to end a Livestream and get clearance on criminal cases related to the supernatural. The organization also has a cleaning crew and methods to get things done and make the evidence disappear. It reminds me of Men in Black (MIB).
On the same day, we see Alexander reach the place where the influencer was abducted. We see him show his credentials to the local authority. It wasn’t abduction like I initially thought but a horrific murder that took place. The local authorities are there, and Alexander meets with them to inspect the crime scene. We see the remains of the victim’s body covered in markings and placed weirdly which indicates that some sort of ritual was performed.
Alexander and the authorities brainstorm on what could have happened. They are forced to work together, and it is clear from their dialogue that the local authorities don’t like his presence there undermining their authority. We learn that the asylum has a history no one wants to remember. What happened exactly there and why it was closed is not mentioned.
A pathologist, arranged by the order, is assigned to perform the autopsy of the victim. In the meantime, two policemen on the scene are doing their rounds on the premises, and they encounter the creature. During the autopsy a clue is found. While the pathologist and the local authorities are inspecting and discussing the findings something supernatural is happening in the room. A few moments earlier we see Alexander encountering more creatures on his round on the premises. It appears there is more than one creature.
All this time, there is something or someone communicating with Alexander telepathically since the beginning of the story. Probably the hunter we saw at the beginning of the story. The creatures are defeated and there appears to be some kind of energy that Alexander or who over the other being is able to absorb. The energy is recognized by Alexander as “The Veil”.
Then he finally thinks about how the others must be doing and has a bad feeling about it. I’m guessing at this point they most probably have already perished by the hands of the supernatural. But we are left wondering what will happen next.
By the end of the book, there is some additional art, character/ object descriptions more like two pages out of a dictionary of the VeilGuard and the backers’ list from Indiegogo and Kickstarter. The descriptions are somewhat helpful, but you will be asking even more additional questions. Smart Move by the creators here.
Overall, The VeilWalker #1 is a dark short story with a lot of mystery and suspense, yet it has some funny dialogue at times. It leaves you wanting to know more:
- What powers does Alexander have?
- What is The Order of the VeilGuard?
- How much power does The Order have?
- Who are the other members of the orders?
- Do they all have abilities?
- Do they have a code of conduct?
- What is “The Veil”?
- Who is this being communicating with Alexander?
THE CROWDFUNDING PROJECT
This crowdfunding project was one of the recommendations you usually get with Indiegogo updates but as I didn’t know these creators, I was a bit hesitant but still interested so I backed the safest tier first, the digital version of the book.
As time went by, I got to learn more about the project and its progress, I decided to get a physical version of the book last year so I refunded my previous order and chose the inquisitor pack tier which included the digital version of the book, the main foil cover, and the Fornes foil Cover, one dual playing card and the VeilGuard Insignia Pin.
The tracking number of the package was provided through Indiegogo which was great. I received the packaging with no issues by the end of the year. It included the two covers of the book, two prints, one bookmark, two stickers of the main character Alexander Salvador, the Oasi Comics logo, and three trading/playing cards describing the abilities of Alexander Salvador, The Veilwalker, and Samantha Redcroft. Who is Samantha? I don’t know. She was supposed to appear in issue #0 which was one of the stretch goals from the campaign that was not achieved. Hopefully, we learn more about her in the upcoming issues?
The first issue of the VeilWalker is intriguing. It takes place in a familiar yet strange world. As the story progresses, you get invested in the characters and the world that is presented to you. Actually, you don’t learn much about the world, but you are left with the curiosity bug wanting to know more. In my opinion, this first issue seems like the creators teasing the readers and asking them “Do you really want to enter into this world?”.
The art is quite distinctive from what I’ve seen before, and the style perfectly fits this kind of story.
Some of the information provided on the campaign about the world of the Veilwalker was not included in the book. I hope that this will be still disclosed in the upcoming issues or separately in a handbook, guidebook, or ashcan to better understand the lore.
Looking forward to learning more about the characters and the world of The VeilWalker.
Up next my eyes will be on “War Party” Issues 1-3