It wasn’t long ago that I celebrated another birthday, and that date happened to fall on the day that Gestalt Comics were having a book launch at the awesome All-Star Comics. Spending my birthday at a comic book store, with a launch of some awesome new titles, could that have worked out any better? It was the perfect way to spend the day, and I picked up a little present for myself, The Deep: Here By Dragons by Tom Taylor and James Brouwer.
I met Tom some two and a half years ago at Melbourne Supanova, where he introduced me to his work. Back then it was a short comic called The Example that he had written, with Colin Wilson having done the artwork. It was this little comic that sold me on Tom’s writing talents. I enjoyed it so much that I reviewed it on Amazon, and I even went to the launch party along with another Gestalt title called Flinch. So yes, I have been a fan of Tom’s for almost three years going, and honestly he just does not disappoint. No matter what he is writing (Star Wars: Invasion has been amazing fyi), he just sucks me right in and I have a fantastic time. The Deep is no different. This really stands as one of the most fun reads that I’ve had for a long time.
The story is an adventure. An underwater adventure! A family of explorers discover something deep down in the ocean, and we are reminded that our planet has so much to yet to be uncovered. The family sort of reminded me of The Incredibles with their dynamic, yet they remain a unique family unit with their own individual traits. Once we are introduced to them, the mystery of the deep and the adventure is on! The story is fun and it has a huge heart. The different elements at play blend together perfectly. This is a beautifully written piece, and it’s an honest reminder of certain truths that are out there with regards to how we treat our planet and the creatures that inhabit it. The message within is a strong one, one you can’t ignore and honestly one that you will feel strongly about.
But the joys of this book do not end there. James Brouwer’s artwork is stunning, and compliments the story perfectly. The characters are fully realised, each with their own visual quirks and memorable faces. The locations and (of course) the deep look fantastic, with some of the pages containing awe-inspiring beauty that I found myself unable to tear myself away. In short, Tom and James make for a great combination, and both should be extremely proud of what they have accomplished.
Overall, The Deep is an intelligent and fun ride. Age be no barrier in reading this one. Pick it up. You won’t regret it!