With 2018 now upon us, a new year begins and with it new comics for us Pipedreamers to read and review. However, for our own James Blundell, the new year begins the same as the old one ended; with Snow. This week, James takes a look at the Eventide, a collection of short stories ripped out of, and expanding, the world of Snow: The Dawn. Can this book match Snow’s praise or will it face a rather more chilly reception?
Publisher: G & H Comics
Writer: Nick Goode, Luke Barnes
Artist: Harry Hughes, Stuart McCarey, Maya Ovrebo, Jey Levang
Price:£8.99 on Comixology
The Eventide is a graphic novel which delves deeper into Goode and Hughes’ Snow universe as it tells five stories to flesh out both the supporting characters and the world of the Ten Boroughs itself. From the backstory of Sarah, Jon’s office colleague and friend in the main series, and the story of how she came to work for Councilman Reynolds, to a story giving greater insight to the criminal duo introduced in Snow issue 2, and even some stories which show us omnipresent corporations Vices Enterprises and it’s darker place in the world. The Eventide shows us that beyond Jon Snow, his world is a much deeper, and possibly darker, place.
Nick Goode and Harry Hughes have created an interesting concept in The Eventide, producing a compendium series to enhance and complement their main title, similar to The Massive Ninth Wave or Lazarus X+66. However, Goode and writing cohort Luke Barnes manage to to create a selection of smaller stories which not only give an insightful look at other aspects of the Snow world, but also come across as very enjoyable. All of the stories included are solidly written, with Codename, the tale describing Sarah’s shadowy and tragic past, and Energy, which follows an investigative reporter seeking the big scoop being the stand outs. What makes this book most impressive however, is the interconnectivity which has been used amongst the various tales, with four of the five seeming like chapters of one long story, albeit focusing on different characters and told in a Tarantino-esque sequence. The Eventide is then finished off with an impressive fill of back matter, including notes, scripts and concept art along with one final story. This enhances the book further as it shows a real labour of love by the creators and their wish to share all of their vision.
As for the art, Hughes and incoming talent Stuart McGarey, Maya Ovrebo and Jey Levang show some truly fantastic work within this volume. At the forefront of this is Hughes himself who, working on the opening and final stories, produces some gorgeous art in two subtly different styles which really fits their respective stories perfectly, while helping ground the book with it’s sister series. This is most evident in Energy, where the panels look crisp and clean and really show the thriller-like tone of the book, the standout of which is the bar table meet between Noah and Laura. The rest of the artist also bring some great styles to the table, from Levang’s Templesmith looking art, Ovrebo’s pencils only style and McGarey’s very surreal look. Of these, there are varying degrees of success given their resemblance to the tone of the respective stories, with Ovrebo’s being particularly strong and looking fantastic with great facial characteristics. However, in comparison both Levang and McGarey’s style are a little more jarring, in particular the latter’s whose work, while looking like the drug trip inspired visuals you’d want from a similarly themed style, does feel a little difficult to follow.
While not without its faults, The Eventide is a truly wonderful companion book to Goode and Hughes’ ‘Snow: The Dawn’ series. This is a book which tells some really cool stories, has some pretty good art and, in the end, makes the world they all exist in feel a little bit richer and more real. If you have checked out Snow and are enjoying it, then this book might just make that enjoyment a little bit better.