Valiant Entertainment 2016
Written by B. Clay Moore
Illustrated by Clayton Henry & Lewis Larosa
Coloured by Brian Reber & Andrew Dalhouse
Lettered by Dave Lanphear
Learning to claw! On a mysterious island seemingly untouched by time, order is about to give way to instinct. Stranded with no hope of rescue, the Sauvage family must sacrifice the people they once were?and embrace the animals within! But as prehistoric monsters stalk them at every turn, will their newfound bestialness be enough to ensure survival, or will they be forever trapped at the bottom of the food chain? And when tragedy befalls the once close-knit family, will their last tether to humanity be severed once and for all?
This is a surprisingly fast read. I got so caught up, see enraptured, in what was on the page that it was over before I knew it. Then of course all I wanted was more. What B. Clay is bringing to us here goes so far beyond whatever it was I was expecting. I mean the Land that Time Forgot is an excellent concept and one that has entertained us in various mediums and takes in the past but to see that little added extra here takes it to a whole new level.
I will fully admit i’m in love with the interiors here as well. The opening is a perfect example of why that is. Seeing this man being attacked by two Raptor style dinosaurs only to be saved by the boy was exhilarating to watch. The attention to detail here is simply amazing to witness. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and the use of these backgrounds make it all the more cinematic in scope so you almost feel like a part of the action. The emotion their work brings to this is undeniably important in connecting with the story.
As we see Kev growing up and the events that shaped his life it’s interesting to see how those circumstances have made him into such a feral creature. Learning to stay alive on an island of Dinosaurs is one thing but add in the human group and their own brand of savagery and you begin to see the kind of hardship and ferocity he has accrued. This level of characterisation and storytelling from B. Clay is not only impressive but makes you see beyond what’s on the page and imagine what it would be like if you had to survive here a well.
There’s a way for this to exist alongside the other books in the Valiant Universe but as a separate entity it’s astonishingly well done. Known to the others on the island as the boy Kev continues to showcase such rare qualities that only growing up in this harsh environment could have given him. Also that we see the moment his world forever changes and the impact that is going to have, which we see in his older self, is something that when explored more fully will undoubtedly be the turning point.
Already this is an award winning worthy tale and if it continues on like this it will be one of the best stories of the year without a doubt.