I was first introduced to Kal Jerico in my early teens. I had just finished Dawn of War, and reading through the Inquisitor rulebook I came upon an image. “Kal Jerico, Bounty Hunter for hire, by Karl and Stefan Kopinski”. I had only just begun my exploration of the colossal background of Warhammer 40,000, and I was hooked.
The Inquisitor rulebook hails from a time when Games Workshop codices were filled cover to cover with amazing gawk-worthy artistry. Before the more formal and structured codices we have today. Moreover, it remains the most deep and insightful look at the Inquisition to be published. Because of this intake of incredible art at such a pivotal time in my life, there are many pieces of art in Inquisitor that remain amongst my favourites of all the plethora of GW artistry. They are at the forefront of what defines 40k, but of all these wonderful characters I perused through I hadn’t been able to put a name to any as soon as Kal Jerico.
There was something about this character. His clothing and hairstyle was unique. I hadn’t seen, and am yet to see, a concept for a character like his in my lifetime. He emitted a certain noble air, or so I thought. And for all these years I obsessed about this character and I’d never actually read any of the comics or novels he appeared in. He joined Quinlan Vos and Kyle Katarn in my list of heroes I’d yet to know the 'ventures of.
I can’t remember quite what spurred my curiosity, but a week or so ago I gave in. I found a collection of Warhammer Monthly issues on scribd, and there began my personal exploration of the background of Kal Jerico. It has to be said that Warhammer Monthly was of an older form of the 40k & fantasy background than I’m used to. Many of the comics look dated and not too well drawn. That being said, Karl Kopinski delivers a piece that holds together well with time. It looks like 40k as I know it now fresh with the release of 6th edition and Dark Vengeance.
Karl utilised a very strong black & white inking style, and the range of faces and – even more impressively – range of facial expressions he captures are stunning. It is stand out comic art that most big comic companies would be more than lucky to have. Unfortunately, the scribd collection only took me as far as Motherlode (Which is relatively early on), but it has left me with many things to say, and with few people to share it with I thought this would be a good opportunity to write up a series of episodic reviews.
I ordered myself The Complete Kal Jerico collection (which does as it says on the tin) and Daemonifuge (because of how highly rated it is). Two days ago they came through the post. I’ll keep you posted regularly, and I look forward to sharing my opinions as much as I hope you enjoy hearing them.