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Embark on an adventurous quest in IDW's Canto and the Clockwork Fairies (Preview)

By Jeff Spry
canto hero

A week without new comics is like a week without sunshine, and as publishers and retailers struggle with their release schedules amid the global crisis and find inventive ways to get new books to readers, it's liberating to look toward the future for what awaits once the world starts spinning again.

One bright gem on the horizon from IDW Publishing is Canto and the Clockwork Fairies #1, a fantasy one-shot starring the pint-sized tin crusader in a new all-ages adventure tentatively scheduled to arrive May 27. 

Spawned from the reader-favorite series that first launched in June of 2019 from writer David M. Booher and artist Drew Zucker, Canto was billed as an otherworldly odyssey inspired by Dante’s Inferno and The Wizard of Oz. The imaginative six-issue miniseries was an instant classic that topped many "Best Of The Year" lists and captured fans' hearts with its touching modern fable. 

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Now Canto and the Clockwork Fairies returns to the mystical realm of Arcana, courtesy of Booher and Zucker, to pave the path to a new Canto miniseries titled The Hollow Men and arriving summer. The fairytale storyline follows our brave little clockwork hero as he leads his people from their homeland to discover somewhere new. When Canto stumbles across a band of captured fairies, it’s up to him to free them, all while trying not to get caught by Baba Yaga. 

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"Drew and I jumped at the chance to tell a stand-alone Canto story," Booher tells SYFY WIRE. "In Canto’s main quest, we only get a glimpse of his expansive world. Canto and the Clockwork Fairies gave us a chance to show readers a strange new corner of the land and introduce some cute (and scary) inhabitants. Even better, we got to take a break from the main adventure to show Canto being, well, Canto. I hope readers love this side-quest into the Canto saga as much as we do. There are so many more tales to be told, and we can’t wait to tell them."

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"The exciting thing about Clockwork Fairies, and in particular these new pages we're showing, is getting to introduce new characters using existing lore and putting our own spin on them," Zucker tells SYFY WIRE. "How to take the idea of the Baba Yaga and actually fit her into Canto's world was a massive design challenge, but one that was a lot of fun. 

"So much of the process of creating a character like the Baba Yaga comes from me acting out David's script," he adds. "I spend a lot of time walking around my studio hunched over and trying to find body language and movement that makes sense for the character. Once I have that language, it helps me to visualize the character. When it came to working out specific details, artists like H.R. Giger and Katsuhiro Otomo certainly helped with finding ways to combine the mechanical with biological. Overall, though, it was all about making sure that the Baba Yaga would not only serve the story, but feel like she was a living breathing part of Canto's world."

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Trek along with the valiant metal warrior in our exclusive preview of IDW's Canto and the Clockwork Fairies, with variant covers by Nick Robles (The Dreaming) and Mateus Santolouco (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and a sneak peek at a trio of captivating covers for July's Canto II: The Hollow Men.