Animal associations

ABLAZE Publishing ‘Animal Castle, Issue 1’ by Xavier Dorison & Felix Delep

Most people know George Orwell for his cult classic 1984. But another Orwell fan favorite is Farm animal. Orwell’s story of animal rebellion and how, over time, animals become mirrors of their former human oppressors. Orwell’s Tale has been adapted in the past into a variety of different media. So it was natural to see the iconic story adapted into a comic book form. This is where the writer Xavier Dorison and the artist Felix Delep come in. They took the basic premise of Orwell’s story and made it their own in their new series. Animal castle by Ablaze Publishing.

Animal castle

In Animal castle, the fate of the first human inhabitants was a matter of guesswork. They could have just left or maybe they got caught up in an armed conflict. Some have even speculated that an epidemic has brought them down. The end remains the same. The humans are no longer there. The castle that was built and the farm that it became were now controlled by animals. Which was great news for the remaining animals. They would be free to choose their own destiny. At least that’s what they thought. But as humans might have told them, it takes little to turn freedom into despotism.

Civil unrest

This was the case in Animal castle. Apparently some of the animals had learned a lot from their former human masters. They had learned that the strong can dominate the weak. They also learned that the job was best suited for those not in charge. By allowing those at the lower levels of their new society to do the hard work, the whole society would benefit. Especially those at the top. However, just like in human society, abuse, overwork, and the obvious imbalance between food and water began to take its toll on those who bore the brunt of the hard work. Inevitably, leading to civil unrest.

The work must be done

But in the meantime, there was still work to be done. It included everyone. All the animals that were not part of the “ruling class” had a job to do. This included the recently widowed cat, Miss B. Although she tried to raise her two kittens on her own, she was forced to take on the responsibilities of her late husband. This meant moving heavy bricks to be used in the construction of a castle tower. All for the glory of the President. However, your livelihood, however meager, depended on your job. If something went wrong, you didn’t get paid. And it was difficult to raise a family without any means to pay for food. This only increased the desperation of the animals. It was a keg of gunpowder looking for a fuse to light.

Capital punishment

This only got worse as harsh penalties were imposed on those who stepped outside of social norms. And God forbid that a hen decides to keep one of her eggs for herself. It was the crime that the Adelaide hen had committed. And in the country of the sovereign and of President Silvio the Bull, it was a capital crime. The one who needed a strong answer. It is for these types of jobs that he created his dog militia. Thus, she was tied to a stake and killed by the militia in public view. The idea was that it would deter others from such rebellious actions. It seems that animal nature is not that different from human nature.

Because the results were the exact opposite of what was expected. In the end, all it took was a strong leader and the belief that standing idly by and doing nothing was no longer an option. And for the workers, Daisy the Goose was that leader. But as you might expect, there are risks involved in fighting oppression. Especially against a well-fed, stronger and frankly more ruthless opponent like the Militia. The results were what one would expect. Carnage and the disappearance of the frank Daisy. Who would the animals follow now?

Thoughts

Writer Xavier Dorison and artist Felix Delep designed a powerful and different look and direction for this Orwell-inspired book. Delep is particularly in his element as his animal jumps off the page. Skillfully reflecting almost human emotions as he moves the story forward. Editions on fire Animal castle Issue 1 lays the foundation for an intense and addicting story that requires reading the next issue… and the next… and the next. No wonder the first issue is sold out. Luckily for those who missed it, the reprint comes out with issue # 2 on January 12. I highly recommend it.

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