Hello fellow #Norsevember readers. My name is Asa Wheatley and I am the writer behind the recently released comic Sagas of the Shield Maiden.
I want to start by thanking Alex for very kindly letting me talk about Sagas of the Shield Maiden as part of the fantastic event that is #Norsevember. So let’s get to it.
At its core Sagas of the Shield Maiden is a Viking Western. Following the exploits of the titular nameless Shield Maiden as she traverses the fjords of Viking Age Scandinavia and beyond the North Sea.
As you can probably guess from the initial description the inspiration for Sagas of the Shield Maiden didn’t just come from my love of Vikings and all things Norse. While the world of the book is very distinctly that of the Viking Age the character of the Shield Maiden herself was inspired by spaghetti westerns and Samurai cinema.
I’ve always been drawn to the lone warrior drifting from town to town helping those in need, for a little coin. I wanted to bring this kind of character into the Viking world and so the Shield Maiden was born. With a bigger page width than your average comic book we aimed to replicate the wide angles often used in western films. Giving the reader a greater sense of the expansive nature of the setting.
The book consists of 5 stories, all from varying times in the Shield Maiden’s life, from her first raid in England to a spate of bloody vengeance and her eventual death. Illustrated by a team of fantastic artists. Daniel Coloma, Kay Baird, Kevin Keane, Michelle Marham and Sammy Ward provide the interiors with an amazing wraparound cover by Sweeney Boo. Each of the stories is lettered by Ken Reynolds, who also did the brilliant title design.
After a successful kickstarter campaign Sagas of the Shield Maiden is now available to order for those looking to delve into this VIking Western world. You can find it on my online story at: https://asawheatley.bigcartel.com/ along with a plethora of other (less Viking) comics I’ve written.