COMIC REVIEW: Unearth

Unearth CoverA tense and terrifying one-shot from writer and colourist John-Paul Bove (Teenage Mutant Turtles, Transformers, Judge Dredd) and artist Conor Boyle (Cross), featuring a cover painted by Ben Oliver (Marvel and DC comics).

A group of archaeologists searching for signs of a lost civilization deep in a long extinct volcano discover that the answers may just lead to their undoing. Some things buried were buried for a reason. Some things once unearthed cannot be undone…

I saw this comic at MCM last month and I stupidly didn’t pick up a copy then.  I think I was too busy getting frustrated with my Mockingbird catsuit.  Luckily, Big Cartel came to my rescue and I had my (signed) copy within a couple of days – YIPPEE!

When it comes to comics/graphic novels, aside from my usual addiction to all things Marvel, I have a penchant for the supernatural and Lovecraftian, which is why I was drawn to Unearth.  The cover alone was enough to suck me in, because who doesn’t love a giant demon’s head with blood dripping from its jagged teeth?  I personally have a weakness for such things.

Another thing I’m drawn to are comics/graphic novels based in history and science.  I just love it when those two subjects are intertwined with beautiful art to tell a story and Unearth does just that.   Not only that, it also fused history and science with religion in the form of Hell, something else that I have been fascinated by since I was a child.  I’m not religious in the slightest, never have been, but I find the concept of Hell and the devil etc absolutely riveting.  I mean, I’m one of the very few people who actually watches and enjoys End of Days.  I can’t believe I just admitted that.  Anyway, moving on…

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Unearth begins at the scene of an archeological dig at the base of a volcano in Sicily, 1895 led by Dr. Dantini and told through the diary of Edward Francis.  If you’ve ever read any Lovecraft, you can already tell that this is not going to end well.  Dr. Dantini is convinced that there is a discovery to be made, something that he clearly hasn’t shared with anyone else on the dig.  He knows what he’s looking for and is almost a little crazed in his pursuit of whatever it is.  When they find ‘it’, Dr. Dantini becomes almost manic in his joy, despite the fact that the find is monstrous in its horror.  And would you look at that – they find even more, and not one of them the same.  Soon, there are hundreds of them, each one more grotesque than the last.  What are these…. these things?  Are they an as yet undiscovered species, or are they something else, something…. evil and wrong?  Could this essentially be Hell on earth?

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I thoroughly enjoyed Unearth.  It has everything I look for in a graphic novel that isn’t about superheroes.  It’s dark and otherworldly, something that I adore.  It marries the worlds of science and religion in a way that doesn’t make it feel forced, something that isn’t easy to do.  It lets your mind wander to the ‘What If?’ questions that we can all be plagued by from time to time.  I am a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft and Unearth is very much rooted in that kind of mythos.  The mix of Victorian gothic with demons that are eons old is just perfect and I’ll need a whole lot more of it my life.

If you love a touch of gothic fantasy with a liberal sprinkling of Lovecraft, history and the demonic, then Unearth is most definitely for you. The story runs deep and twisted, the art is just beautiful and the colour choices inspired.  As the book goes on, the colours change from browns and greys to rich reds and inky blacks, perfectly displaying the change in atmosphere.  It’s got it all and my only complaint is that it wasn’t longer because I’m desperate for more.

I mean, there’s gonna be more, right? RIGHT?!

Title: Unearth

Publisher: Bar None Press

Facebook: Unearth FB Page / Twitter: @Unearth_oneshot

Rating: 5/5

Reviewer: Vix

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