Thursday, January 20, 2011

Northlanders #36

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Becky Cloonan

You know, one thing that I always get out of an issue of Wood's Northlanders is that the Viking world is almost impossible to romanticize if you pay attention to the details.  It looks like such a cold, miserable existence, especially in this issue.

This comic finishes the two-part "The Girl in the Ice" arc, featuring art by the incredible Becky Cloonan.  The old man we were introduced to last night returns to the ice to exhume the body of the girl he'd found once again, only this time he is discovered in his endeavors, and is captured and taken to Reykjavik, where he stands accused of the girl's murder.

The story is quite touching, as we explore the man's need for truth, which is revealed to him before his inevitable execution.  What really makes this comic work though, is Cloonan's wonderful art.  She is one of my favourite artists, and this issue is a good example of the breadth of her talent.  She shows us a bleak and unforgiving Iceland through a number of generous landscape and establishing shots.  By contrast, the panels of scenes set indoors are small and cramped, suggesting the claustrophobic conditions in which many people must have spent their winters at that time.  Wood and Cloonan compliment each other very nicely, and I hope to see them work together again very soon.

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