Vault Comics 2019
Written by Lonnie Nadler
Illustrated by Jenna Cha
Coloured by Brad Simpson
Lettered by Hassan Ostmane-Fihaou
The year is 1887 and a storm brews. Eulalie Dubois has spent her entire life tending to her family’s trap-line, isolated from the world. A chance at freedom comes in the form of a parcel that needs delivering to a nameless town north of the wilderness. Little does Eulalie know, something sinister hides in those woods and it yearns for what she carries. A chilling historical cosmic horror tale of survival.
I found this to be incredibly fascinating for a myriad of reasons. This is such an out of the blue and unexpected kind of story and it has the emotional range and depth to it that will stay with you long after you've finished reading it. The opening here had me lost and confused and I thought what the hell am I reading. I fascinated but felt left out and then of course the story continues on and you have to find out what it about the opening that fits into the story. It drives you forward with that innate desire to know more.
The way that this is being told through the story & plot development is sensational. How we see the sequence of events unfold before us and how the release of information to the reader is done is impeccable. The character development is kind of this slow burn of sorts because we are introduced to them in the course of the story as it demands and the more we see them the more we are allowed to understand them. Once that starts we are able to feel and relate to the characters in ways that are as clear as the crystal blue waters of the Maldives. The pacing of the story couldn't be any smoother if it wanted to be. Like a rock in stream found after centuries of wear we find the twists & turns and a revelation or two that create this amazing ebb & flow.
For me personally it's this weird cross between Walden by Thoreau and Edgar Allan Poe. It is captivating, mesmerising and it immerses you in the story in ways that feel like a throwback to a time when authors were celebrated for their works. Deep, meaningful and full of those quandaries that make you question reality and everything around you. This isn't something you pick up to peruse through it is meant to be read sitting down without distractions and trust me your going to want to read it that way.
I love the interiors here and the way that we see the linework. We get this very interesting look as the varying weights are being utilised to bring out this attention to detail that is simply divine to see. Right in the opening to see the way these eyes are shown to us immediately tells us this is going to be something special. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a stellar eye for storytelling. Also the way that backgrounds are being utilised here is bloody marvellous. They enhance the moments, bring a sense of size and scope to the book and the way that the panels are composed also show us depth perception and scale. The colour work is brilliantly done. How we see the no frills colours of the region and age they live in so the browns and muted colours and shading through the various hues and tones sigh it beyond expectations. You could almost read and understand the story through the art alone.
Make no mistake there is some extremely tense, chilling and odd moments that leave feeling uncomfortable and wondering. This isn't like the horror of today, instead it is a throwback to a time when it was more psychological than visceral in nature. This is the kind of story that once again make you afraid of the dark and the unknown it hides in it's darkness.