Three unlikely heroes must escape a creepy subterranean city.
Homeless and orphaned, Dig is often hungry. Searching for unattended food in a busy market one day, he is captured by a strange-looking, red-cloaked lizard creature. He finds himself in a dungeon and there meets statuesque Iana and her girlfriend, Crina. The scarlet-clad reptilian dungeon keepers are members of a mysterious blood cult, intent on sacrificing the trio in hopes of resurrecting an evil monster. Dig, Iana, and Crina must navigate their dangerous underground surroundings and try to make a break for the titular tower, through which they believe they can reach the surface. Howard’s graphic novel is a fun stand-alone that would certainly lend itself to further adventures. His art is big and bright, with an aesthetic quality reminiscent of the cartoon Steven Universe. Many of his action sequences are fast-paced and full of giggleworthy gross-outs sure to keep pages flying. The worldbuilding is accessible and inventive, but it is the attention to character detail that sets this apart; Howard’s characters, both main and secondary, are all differently conceptualized: Some are animals, some are human, some are monsters, but most are diverse in skin color, height, and build. Main characters Iana and Crina’s relationship is at the forefront. Dig has ivory skin, Iana has peach skin, and Crina has pink skin.
An auspiciously quirky and inclusive fantasy. (Graphic fantasy. 8-12)