Becky Cloonan’s bleak self published digital fairy tale is a brilliantly dark fairy tale in every resect that is so murky and wet it makes you want to dry off your iPad after reading it.
Publisher: Ink and Thunder
Writer: Becky Cloonan
Artist: Becky Cloonan
Price: £0.69/$0.99 from ComiXology
Artist Becky Cloonan is fast becoming one of the shining stars of the comics world. From her work on Conan to Batman she has proved herself to be one of the most versatile artists in the business and with the brilliant The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys written by Gerard Way, she is set to launch her career into the upper echelons. However despite this success she is a huge advocate of digital self publishing as one of the big names who were signed up for work when ComiXology released it’s new Submit service back in March.
Aiming to produce at least one self-published title per year via her Ink and Thunder imprint, her latest offering is the bleak, monochrome fairytale Demeter which is a true masterpiece of indie spirited publishing. The story focuses on an un-named fisherman’s wife and her tragic romance with fisherman Colin, but the seemingly simple love story has a dark undertone as our narrator makes supernatural sacrifices in order to ensure her true love is returned to her from the sea and the true nature of what this sacrifice means is revealed. It is with this part of the story that the book really takes off as Cloonan creates a truly chilling nemesis that gives the book it’s emotional core and makes the tragedy of the whole story even more poignant.
Alongside this heart breaking story of lost love, Cloonan’s artwork is truly exceptional. Her manga-esque style oozes class and has some stunning compositions as panels blend into each other and inter mingle to reflect the watery nature of the story. Every face is etched with powerful emotion that gives the story a real resonance, while her use of light and shade is extraordinary using pitch black shadows to hide the darker elements of the story and give the book a truly creeping feel (reminiscent of the Ring movies) when needed, In contrast the extreme lightness of the daylight scene have an almost over saturated quality that leap out of the page and make this into a truly mesmerising book that you will want to read again and again.
“A truly exceptional piece of digital self publishing that is an absolute must-read (especially at the bargain price of £0.69/$0.99). A dark and watery fairytale that is both beautiful and chilling in equal measures and never stops hitting it’s emotional beats even with repeat reading.”