By Claire Gibson, Marian Churchland & Sloane Leong
Brandon Graham’s new shared fantasy world 8house continues to expand with the introduction of spin-off title From Under Mountains. After a taste of the more science fiction flavored Kiem, readers are immediately plunged back into a landscape of spellcasting familiar from the Blood House of Arclight. The issue opens with a stunning wordless image, a full-page illustration of hands gracefully moving through space. The surrounding area is largely dark, fingers glowing red in a fire’s glare. Small leaves and flowers drift downwards. The perspective gradually expands over the next couple of pages, building the atmosphere without losing any of the mystery. It is a striking sequence by Sloane Leong, which immediately pulls the reader into a new landscape.
Continue reading Advance Review of From Under Mountains #1
As the loose Eight House tie in continues in it’s sixth issue, the comic consistently improves upon what it does best in telling high fantasy and expanding the books plot and internal continuity with subtlety and atmosphere.
Issue six focuses on the death of the children from two separate parents that each killed the other’s offspring and the stark inevitability of their final conflict with one another. The writing by Churchland & Gibson is especially strong in the narration and internal dialogue at the start of the book focusing on a flashback of a young arrogant warrior and his reflection on the mistakes that he had to live with for his entire life. Artist Sloane Leong continues to give From Under Mountains it’s life in her hazy visual storytelling. The art is “dreamlike” in the sense that it actually feels like dreams in how it starts off relatively normal before her use of surrealism begins to bend the stories reality. Throughout the book, the panel placement and how she uses that to drive the narrative continues to be a highlight of the series.
From Under Mountains consistently moves with a measured and low key brilliance. As perhaps one of the most underrated ongoing comics series, it’s singularity in fantasy storytelling makes it perhaps the best series of it’s genre currently in the medium.
Disclosure: From Under Mountains artist and co-creator Sloane Leong provided an advance review copy of this comic to Nothing But Comics without any payment between the site and publisher or agreement on the review’s content.
By Claire Gibson. Marian Churchland & Sloane Leong
The debut issue of From Under Mountains dropped readers into an unfamiliar world with little preamble. They were greeted on the first page by arms gracefully invoking a spell. Even after the frame pulled back to reveal the women at work, little more was known about the spell casters or the spectral creature they conjured. What was immediately clear though was that the latest component in Brandon Graham’s 8house project would be a compelling, bewitching read. As the series continued writers Claire Gibson and Marian Churchland filled in more of the details of Karsgate Keep and the people residing within it. #4 continues this process of deepening the scope without losing the mysterious atmosphere which first enchanted readers.
In it’s second issue; From Under Mountains continues to be a strange, challenging and beautiful fantasy book that is simply too engrossing to be ignored. In a time when comics feel more eclectic then ever before, From Under Mountains stands apart as one of the best and most unique new series of 2015. Continue reading Advanced Review of From Under Mountains #2