My Love Lies Under The Sea is one of those comics where trying to explain what happens in it, diminishes it’s impact. Nominally it’s about Ginger, an elderly woman reflecting on her life, on the occasion of her 100th birthday. But what Neil Clarke does brilliantly is to cast the woman forward into the near future so that she is reflecting on an idealistic youth before the ravages of age of a slightly dystopian future have taken their toll.
At a time when the world feels more uncertain than ever, it’s a really thoughtful and poignant look at the way things could go and how we will reflect on it. Ginger considers her past loves, her family and the moments which are important to her. While also considering the way her world has changed, not always for the better, during her lifetime. The notion of ‘appreciate what you have’ because the world could quickly change underneath you has never been more apt and it really resonates without having to rely on heavy allegories about the current state of the world. It’s a very subtly told read and one of those books where you get a little something different out of it with each read, and also depending on your mood and outlook on the world.
Artist Wiktoria Radkiewicz brings a unique style to the story telling, using fluid panels and swirling lettering to give the whole thing a dream like quality. It’s a bit jumbled and hard to follow in places, which is not helped by the slightly rambling quality to the story, but as we often say, this is part of the charm of the book and prevents it from being too formal or rigid. Pages such as Ginger’s memory of a day at the beach are packed full of detail and personality and makes you really slow down and take in every facet of each page in order to truly and appreciate what is going on.
This isn’t a book where it is spelled out for you, and sometimes you have to go searching for the meaning within each page. But all this makes for a really interesting and thoughtful read, from a pair of creators who we will look forward to seeing more from in the future (and will reflect back on this review as we do!).