Despite the fact that I’m a Pisces, ironically, the ocean has always been a great source of fear for me. I’m not afraid of the woods or dark basements or any other environment that might normally terrify other people. However, there is something about the ocean that unnerves me ( so much so, I haven’t been to the beach in years ). It is not the fear of drowning, I’m a more than capable swimmer. What it is, I think ( at the heart of it ), is the most basic of human fears… the fear of the “unknown”. What we cannot see. The ocean, when the skies are clear and the sun is out, seems like a peaceful enough thing. However, a vast and largely mysterious world lies underneath its surface. It is one of the few regions on Earth where all of Mankind is limited in their physical and technological capabilities in regards to a full exploration of its depths. However, don’t tell that to James Cameron. And DEFINITELY don’t tell that to the Nekton family, the stars of writer Tom Taylor and artist James Brouwer’s new comic book series The Deep: There Be Dragons.
The Nekton family (consisting of Dr. Nekton, his wife Kaiko, and their daughter Fontaine and son Antaeus ) are a multi-racial family of scientific explorers who comb the depths of the ocean in their technologically advanced submarine the Aronnax. In the first issue, the Doctor comes across a report of a sighting of a strange creature near the waters off the shore of Greenland. The Doctor (whose theory is that the Greenland sighting is connected to a similar sighting in the same area in 1734 ) packs up the family and heads off to investigate the mystery. However, what awaits them may redefine terror for even these courageous explorers.
First off, I love this new spin on the whole “family of scientists” theme in this book. Writer Taylor doesn’t take things seriously and he injects both action, suspense, and humor in this aquatic “Lost in Space” concept.
However, it is artist Brouwer who places this book on another level. It would be an injustice to Mr. Brouwer to say his work is JUST gorgeous. Words can’t describe the sublime line work as well as the vibrant digital colors in this issue. The style of the artwork is married perfectly with the “devil-may-care” tone the writing establishes. All elements in the panels are well-balanced and easy to follow. And the design work of the teams uniforms as well as their science tech is flawless. Brouwer brings to mind another artist I’ve come to admire: DC’s Karl Kerschl, whose five-part issue of the Teen Titans ( a re-telling of the origins of the group ) left a strong influence on my own art style. Brouwer’s work in this issue is simply stunning and this issue, so far, ranks as my favorite in my Comixology pull list.
A must read.
Here’s the Comixology Link.
The Deep: Here Be Dragons #1
Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: James Brouwer
Edited by: Wolfgang Bylsma
Publisher: Gestalt Comics
Genre: Action/Adventure, Children’s, Graphic Novels
Page Count: 26 Pages
Digital Release Date: Jul 24th 2013
Age Rating: All Ages