Kozor is a dark fantasy tale about the mighty warrior, Chief Baron and his clan of swordsmen who embark on a quest into the treacherous swamp lands of Nimlaar in search for the mysterious faceless people.
From the very beginning of this first issue, the reader gets directly thrown into the thick of things; No slow build up, no customary character introductions as many perhaps are used to from more mainstream comics and no real explanations to anything. You're simply taken along for the ride.
At first, I will admit, that this was a little tough for me, not knowing anything about what I was getting into here, but it quickly turned from confusion and struggle, to excitement and respect.
The approach to comic book storytelling here, is from the beginning to the end very differet. Barton is taking chances left and write in creating his own way of telling a story, and even though it could easily fail immensely in its attempts to be different and risk taking, it succeeds really well.
You get thrown into the story immediately and introduced to the main character of the story on panel one, but I'll admit, it took me atleast five more pages to realize that, as the first few pages are all kinds of messy.
Messy in the -good- way.
He starts out, deliberately ripping away any safety nets and drops you directly into something that could easily feel as if you've missed seven issues of the story and you just feel this instant need to continue and read on, as the story slowly explains itself to you, in Koreys usual gritty, mature and insanely rendered artwork.
Because, if the story weren't enough to immediately drag your, the art WILL!
It took me about ten pages in, to finally begin to slowly get the answers, that the previous pages had made me thirst for, but even then, it was done slowly and intricate, forcing me to stay 100% locked on the story, keeping my normally lacking attention span to stay glued to the pages.
You begin to see and understand your surroundings more and more. Thanks to both the visuals and the overall feeling this comic already puts you in, but you'll never leave the small spark of confusion behind, as it grasps you and forces you to continue the story that you now are completely drawn into, wanting to get the answers, all the while being an absolute treat to the eye, thanks to the great work of Koreys renders.
I easily tend to lose attention to details and story, when I read comics, mostly when it is the mainstream ones, but Korey manages to keep me locked into the story here from start to finish, which for me speaks for his abillities as a storyteller.
Even when finished, I sat back thinking "What the F*** did I just read here?" and right after "I need to get issue 2, immediately!" as that lingering confusion was now building my curiosity up so much so, that I just wanted more.
Granted, the confusion can be argued wether it's done on purpose, or is lacking exoerience from Koreys side, but from my viewpoint, in the way the confusion pulled me into the story even more, rather than pushing me away, I truly believe nothing in this comic wasn't thought through in every detail.
I loved the feeling of being "lost". Loved the feeling of not having a clue of what was going on and that the writer weren't holding my hand through it all step by step, forcing me to put all my attention into the read, making it that much better.
So, if you're into mature, gritty and twisted medieval storytelling, alongside highly rendered visuals, then Korey Bartons Kozor is well worth the read!!
I give it seven sparkly crow eyes, out of ten.