Damn.  That was epic.  Just a big sprawling – HISTORY SWEEPING crazy tale.  You thumb through every page amazed, and bewildered with Sean Murphy’s art.  You’ll turn page after page mumbling to yourself, “I will never be as good as Sean Murphy.”  Really just breathtaking and cinematic.  Scott Snyder spins a story a billion years in the making.

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Think of it like THE THING meets THE ABYSS.  Except – he tells the story through different characters spanning millions of years.  And Sean Murphy’s art – I mean — whew.  It’s awesome.

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My only critique would be Snyder’s use of expository dialogue to do a lot of heavy lifting for plot points – often characters have to explain what the hell is going on to move onto the next story beat.  But, it’s a complicated, spanning tale, so I’ll let it slide.

I’d like to take a moment to mention the color.  In the back of the Trade Paperback I read, Matt Hollingsworth talks about Sean Murphy and him using Japanese Woodblocks as an inspiration for the color palate.  When you read about that kind of TLC going into stuff, you can’t help but be inspired.

So here’s the story:

Elevator Pitch:When Marine Biologist Lee Archer is approached by the Department of Homeland Security for help with a new threat, she declines, but quickly realizes they won’t take no for an answer. Soon she is plunging to the depths of the Arctic Circle to a secret, underwater oil rig filled with roughnecks and scientists on the brink of an incredible discovery… and a terrifying one at that.  (**synopsis lifted from the Amazon description)

Stories like this make you think – I can do anything in a comic!

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You can write a space-saga adventure, or a small time little character study.  I know you can do that – but there are times where you open up a comic and go… wow.  This was great.  You really can go anywhere – you’re not limited by budget, casting, etc.  A “The Wake” movie or TV show would be crazy expensive – but guys like Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth get to create their work and see their vision realized without having to get tied up in all the strings that invariably come with a 100 million dollar plus price tag.

This idea, this notion, this is all related to a thread of thought I’ve been having about STARTUPS and ARTISTS.  Two books that are dovetailing in with each other are: LEAN STARTUP and REBEL WITHOUT A CREW. Especially here in LA – it’s so easy to get lost in the idea that Film and TV are the end all be all.  But if you’re an artist, actually looking to see your vision brought to fruition — comics have a much lower barrier to entry — they certainly don’t cost millions of dollars to make.

In a previous post – I linked to articles on artist pay.  I mean, even the big boys aren’t really raking in the dough.  But, if you can get this kind of work off the ground – there are a lot less moving parts – and there is a lot more artistic integrity.  Look at the number of people involved – sure there are editors, etc.  But I only see three names on the cover.  Three names are the primary influencers of this epic, time sweeping project.

When’s the last time you looked at a credit list of a movie – if you even bothered to sit through it.  It took that many thousands of people to make that — whereas a comic – even if you can’t draw – in these days of Deviant art and the world as FLAT as it is – you can find something – someway, somehow to get your vision out there with a lot lower barrier to entry (financially speaking) than getting a movie made.

I’ll be musing on this more and more as I go – but in the meantime…

If you like creepy, post-apocalyptic sci fi, are scared of the water, and like gorgeous art — I say give it a whirl.  It just came out in Trade Paperback.

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