BY SEAN CLARK

Author: Alec Longstrethbasewood

2013, Phase 7

Filed Under: Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Short-Run

Here’s yet another Kickstarter graphic novel I backed. Once again, I’m very pleased with the results. Basewood is a compilation of a comics miniseries written and drawn by one artist.

It opens with an amnesiac waking in a forest, with a gash in his head and a shoe missing. He dresses his wounds and follows a friendly dog to the outskirts of the forest, where he marvels at the vast cliffs that tower over the forest. When he sets up camp in the field at the forests’ edge, the dog runs off. For help, it turns out; a giant dragon attacks the man and destroys his camp. Only by the intervention of a old guy named Argus (the dog’s master) do they escape the onslaught.

The man moves in with Argus in a sweet treehouse in the forest, where the monster doesn’t attack. They settle into a pretty nice life, but as he learns more of Argus’s past, and pieces together more about his own situation, he eventually determines to set out on a search for who he is and where he came from, even if it means facing the monster alone.

The story is well-written, even if it doesn’t do anything new or particularly innovative. It’s a fun and interesting adventure all the same. I greatly enjoy Longstreth’s art style, it’s got that refined notebook-doodle look that I’m really attracted to. And the way he draws his characters reminds me a bit of Where’s Waldo. He does some clever work with his panelling too. I particularly liked a few panels where some of the words were cut out of frame. At first I thought this was a printing error, then realized it was reflecting a character withdrawing from a conversation, which I found particularly affecting.

I definitely recommend this book for indie comic and graphic novels fans. It’s also another successful Kickstarter book project; I’m batting 1.000 on that front so far. It’s great that these artists have found a way to find readership through the platform, and I hope I come across plenty more books like Basewood.

Similar Reads: American Elf (Kochalka), The Arrival (Tan)

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