Review: Zurvan Club
I guess because it’s 2012, everyone’s talking about end-of-the-world, Illuminati-like conspiracies, and mysteries surrounding the mythological past and how they play into our future. There’s the underlying pervasive super-plot of the Assassin’s Creed games, there’s this movie I recently did the stunt coordination for, and, well, lots of people are still talking about the Mayans.

Now there’s the Zurvan Club.

The Zurvan Club is a Creative Commons project made by Adolf Navarro and Izara Masie. The comic is available for free, sharing, etc. and the first collection is out on their website now. The comic is your basic “mysterious island” story, chock-full of references to mythology and legend, and referencing mysterious ties to the present. The cast of characters is a diverse, colorful posse of specialized geeks who all band together to go find Brigadoon–er, a mysterious island that disappears and reappears once every hundred or so years, and apparently has some connection with the Nephilim’s existence on Earth/their influence on ancient peoples/the Pyramids were made by aliens/that sort of thing. The dialogue about these mysteries is pretty fun to read, and the trip to the island only somewhat exciting. I do wonder whether the Abstergo-like company Julia works for is as shady as I suspect it is. The story is a tad belabored with info dumps, but a lot of the info is at least interesting (to a mythology nerd like me anyway).

However, the digital art is not at all appealing to me, I’m afraid. Mainly it’s the character design, straight out of the Uncanny Valley. The scenes in general are a bit stiff, not conveying the tight suspense and mystery that the story demands. I can see that it’s trying to have a charming, Robot-Chicken-like aesthetic to it, but it’s just too stiff here to work.

One highlight of the project, though, is its very interactive website–you can click on characters and locations and interact with those files, kinda like an in-game encyclopedia for a video game. Which is pretty fun. The art in these interactive bits is actually higher quality than the stuff in the comics themselves (though the creepiness of the character face designs is still there).

Bottom Line: Go to the Zurvan Club if you like Bermuda Triangle type mysteries enough to get around the clunky art.   ~Prof. Jenn