Occasionally (like maybe once or twice), people ask me what to read in the comic world. This is where I respond in a digestible, debatably effective fashion.
At this point, it's getting harder and harder for me to not want to just call this article Why You Should Be Reading Anything And Everything Scott Snyder Is, Has, Or Will Be Writing. But for the sake of validation under suspicion of extreme fanboy-ism, I'm working to stay sufficiently (or, at the very least) arguably objective.
The Wake is a new 10-part series from writer Scott Snyder set in a top secret underwater "ghost" oil rig underneath icy Alaskan waters. We're introduced to our protagonist, Dr. Lee Archer as she begrudgingly accepts a position from the Department of Homeland Security to aid in investigating a bewildering transmission from the depths in exchange for their help in obtaining custody of her son. Little is known about her past with the DHS, but more is sure to unravel.
As with any good caper, things clearly aren't what they seem and what's supposed to be a one-week expedition is sure to turn into something a shade or two more dire. At two issues in, with a third releasing tomorrow, it seems like Murphy's story is off to a strong start--roping in events from early human history, the present, and some distant future.
If you've had the pleasure of reading another of Snyder's outstanding ongoing series, American Vampire, you'll already be familiar with artist Sean Murphy's spectacular work. The interactions are seamless and Murphy's sense of space makes for an incredible atmosphere. The underwater scenes feel particularly deep and ominous--shrouded in deep blacks with plenty of harsh line work framing in environments that seem dwarfed by the imposing darkness. It really does ooze a macabre horror beneath the hood. Murphy's character work is outstanding in its reductionist renderings of faces with hard lines and stiff, almost geometric cuts to defining features.
As with an underwater thriller, it's no surprise that there is indeed a lot of water. Luckily, Sean Murphy's abstraction in his sketchy renderings is fantastic while cleverly balancing shadows and highlights on wave surfaces and light obfuscation beneath.
Colorist Matt Hollingsworth works in a subdued palette--playing up an orange/pink combination for surface environments and using tonal blues for the ghost rig. Really lovely work.
With a promising introduction and a mere 10-issue story arc, this is a great start to dip your toes in the comic world or to continue your Scott Snyder library. Equally admirable endeavors, obviously.
If you're interested in reading this or any other comics, give Comic Relay a try.