Created & Written by Tom Taylor
Created & Illustrated by James Brouwer
Lettered by Wolfgang Bylsma
Journey into The Deep with the daring aquanaut family, The Nektons, aboard their state-of-the-art (and oh, so shiny) submarine, The Aronnax. When an earthquake off the coast of Greenland leads to strange reports of monster sightings, William and Kaiko Nekton, along with their kids, Fontaine and Ant (and of course, Ant’s pet fish, Jeffrey), dive into the mystery!
For the uneducated folks like myself this is also a Netflix cartoon series. Yes upon learning that I went and found it and the first episode is well this issue. I love that Tom and James not only did the cartoon but are doing this so it’s a literal translation of the series. For those that don’t have Netflix well this might be an all-ages themed book but there’s plenty here for adults as well. The Ocean’s hold a fascination of untold wonder and life we’ve never yet seen before and one’s that would haunt our nightmares. So that the guys are bringing this us in an adventure series using both science and imagination well it’s extremely well done.
The writing here is really smartly done. There’s the right balance of humour and reality of sibling fighting to go along with the whole family’s sense of adventure. Their love and passion of the Oceans and the mysteries they contain and infectious. The characterisation is strong and it’s easy to see where the kids personalities come from, by that I mean which parent they take after. I’m a huge fan of the fact that Tom puts historical aspects into the story and uses technology so that we can all understand it’s uses. So it’s as educational as it is fun.
The interiors are great stuff. The use of page layouts are well utilised through their angles and perspective. Backgrounds are a bit limited but that’s due to circumstances and not because they can’t be used the sub is a small place and the ocean well it doesn’t always lend itself to filled up. I like the difference in the comic art compared to the animated cartoon style it’s nice to see that James kept it all true but added a more personal touch. There are some stunning moments that are meant to thrill readers and it’s really something to experience.
The story structure here is set up beautifully. From the introduction of the characters to the mission they go on and the unexpectedness of what they find this is something that you can share with the entire family. Plus I love that at times I can relate to the teasing of the younger brother, to the mom scaring her daughter and laughing about it. Then dad’s enthusiasm for something that could be magical but turns it into something history related. Just the whole way that Tom brings this to readers easily makes it accessible to everyone.