If you are a comic book junkie like me, constantly sticking to the Big Two, Marvel and DC, can tend to get boring from time to time.
There’s nothing wrong with the main superhero lines and seeing new ways that talented writers and illustrators bring new life to these tropes. Lately, however, I’ve been craving the different.
I also feel that people tend to forget that there are other types of genres and styles that can exist within the comic book medium that don’t always make it into the mainstream.
Whether this be the weird, the absurd, journalism or memoir, the world of comic books presents a never-ending supply of stimulating works from the most offbeat creators that really provide a unique perspective to the art form.
One of these said pieces is a book I picked up from a local con called Beyond The Demon, The Sea by writer Ben Goldsmith and illustrator Davy Broyles; published by Source Point Press.
The story is about a young couple from England that are ship bound to the United States, when tragedy strikes on the sea, driving one of the characters to madness.
Not to mention that the one-shot comic has kick-ass cover art from Comic Maestro Ben Templesmith of 30 Days of Night and Wormwood Gentleman Corpse fame!
First off, the art of the book is absolutely fantastic. Broyles’ art (with some additional design by Joshua Werner) is very multifaceted, keeping the reader’s eyes entertained with every page of the story.
The bodies of the characters are drawn in a very unique way, almost geometric while containing visual indicators reminiscent of curvaceous heroes from antiquity.
The colors, used intentionally sparingly throughout the way, provides an interesting depth that almost tells a story of its own, in contrast to the “beige-scale” the shines in the shines of the backdrop of the story.
What got me excited the most; however, is the artist’s use of the gutter and paneling throughout the story.
Each panel presents an interesting take of panels and the gutters are barely noticeable in the page, due to the medley of concocted images such as ghouls, ropes, and blood that fill in the space.
I find this to be fascinating as Broyles’ approach to illustrating takes advantages of keeping the eye busy throughout the page, increasing your viewing time two-fold your norm, while retaining a function to it that adds to the overall breadth of the story.
Secondly, Goldsmith presents a familiar, yet entertaining tale many horror fans are accustomed to (and that I’m a fan of)- the “Sanity Slippage,” through a first-person perspective, similar to Poe’s “A Tell-Tale Heart.”
He plays upon whether the character is dreaming or not, within a chaotic situation, and also dances upon the subtlety of the artist’s drawing to further the story along.
I also enjoyed Goldsmith’s stylistic linguistic switch between the British and American characters, as well as the protagonists’ dialogues with each other, with Justin Birch’s lettering reflective of those styles.
Overall, I recommend checking out Beyond The Demon, The Sea from Source Point Press. It’s a fun read with even more fun art. It’s different than most mainstream comics, which is something I thoroughly enjoy.
Although not necessarily perfect, it is definitely worth the affordable price it is set at, definitely proving itself worth the read. Check it out!