Artesia is an epic fantasy comic book series authored and illustrated by Mark Smylie. Artesia is also the name of the heroine of the cycle. Smylie has described her as a "Pagan Joan of Arc", to use a popular reference, while noting that the closest historical model is the Irish Queen Medb. The series is noted for its depiction of feudal politics, intrigue, and power struggles, its complex mythology and world history, and its strong female characters.
Currently the series is composed of four "books": Artesia, Artesia Afield, Artesia Afire and Artesia Besieged. Each book is composed of six episodes, or fairly standard comic book-sized episodes. Each book has been followed by an annual compendium including short stories and details of the history, geography and mythology of Artesia's universe. The books together constitute part of a cycle called The Book of Dooms. Smylie has said that it would take 22 books to tell Artesia's story in full, but that at least 7 will be completed "hell or high water".
- ^ Mark Smylie, Letters Page, Artesia Annual #2 (2001)
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