HeroesCon 2019 REVIEW: ‘Dragon Sanctuary’ Convention Exclusive Preview

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Dragon Sanctuary

Dragon Sanctuary is a webcomic initially launched in November 2018 based on an idea creator Shannon Manor had when she was 10-years-old. While at HeroesCon 2019, I spoke to Manor about her project. She gave context, “it was my first attempt at creating my own fantasy world and a story. And over the last twenty-plus years, it’s grown and changed with me as a creator.”

The fantasy epic follows Dean, who is bored to tears in his small village where he spends most of his day watching cows and fixing fences. He often wonders off living his duties to go unattended. But him, his sister Meale, and their mother need to eat so the menial, boring labor is necessary to afford to stay alive. However, after running into Lord Kaita, after stealing a horse and wandering into a dangerous mist near his village, Dean, with the help of Lord Kaita, is able to convince his village his destiny is more than just watching cows and tending to farmland.

Dragon Sanctuary is delightful. It feels like the quintessential fantasy adventure and while it does not reinvent the wheel, it tackles the traditional tropes, particularly its chosen one and because destiny said so tropes, well. Dean’s character is a tad arrogant and selfish but is never unlikeable, instead, he is very relatable.

When speaking about future issues, Manor explained, “it’s about all the baggage that comes with having a destiny handed to you and how it affects the world and people around you for better or worse.” Most people in the world can relate to the idea of needing to get out of their dingy hometowns, I certainly know that is exactly how I felt when I graduated high school and then again when I graduated college.

Manor’s writing and art keep the comic lighthearted. It truly feels like a work written by someone in love with the fantasy genre which Manor has mentioned she is. She said, “it [Dragon Sanctuary] has kinda ended up being a tribute and a little bit of a wedgie to fantasy in general.” Manor’s art is the star of the show with clear anime influences, despite the classic, western fantasy genre it takes place in. The influences are most evident in the over-exaggerated facial expressions of the characters, Dean especially, and Manor’s admittance that much of the story is inspired by the Final Fantasy franchise.

My only issue with Dragon Sanctuary is the lettering can be shaky at times but considering Manor is writing, illustrating, and lettering webcomic by herself, it is understandable. Overall though, Dragon Sanctuary is a whimsical and sweet story that captures a lot of what makes the fantasy genre so appealing and relatable despite featuring fairies, dragons, and demon slaying lords.

Dragon Sanctuary has updates every Tuesday and Thursdays on its website. Additionally, you can follow the hashtag #dragonsanct on twitter to find all the updates and just chat with Shannon while she works. Additionally, Dragon Sanctuary comic is supported by Shannon’s Patreon where patrons can get finished pages early, inks, roughs, and thumbnails.

Dragon Sanctuary
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TL;DR

My only issue with Dragon Sanctuary is the lettering can be shaky at times but considering Manor is writing, illustrating, and lettering webcomic by herself, it is understandable. Overall though, Dragon Sanctuary is a whimsical and sweet story that captures a lot of what makes the fantasy genre so appealing and relatable despite featuring fairies, dragons, and demon slaying lords.