By Eric Orchard
Second issue of Eric Orchard’s delightfully gothic all-ages tale (first issue review here).
The worst thing about Marrowbones? It’s STILL digital only. Really, this is a delightful, all-ages tale, and one that would really benefit from a nice little hardcover treatment. For starters that would mean I could get the kids at school reading this – and they’d absolutely love it. All it needs is a publisher. Go on. You know you want to.
Anyway, here in issue 2, we’re back in Marrowbones Swamp, albeit looking at events that happened before the things we’ve seen in issue 1. But that doesn’t matter, as Orchard’s world is one of those places where the setting lends itself to multiple storylines, all featuring a cast of loveably dark characters.
We’re back to a time when little Nora has been working at her uncle’s inn for just a week….. ah, hell, I’ll let Orchard tell you:
And that’s just the sort of thing I love about this, that free and easy style, the lovely narration, the simple tale, the Gaiman-esque feel to the words and the themes.
There’s a tightness here now. Orchard’s worked his storytelling, honed his style, and it’s tighter, crisper. The dialogue is a little more straightforward, a little more focused, the storytelling a little more straightforward perhaps, less going on, and it’s all the better for it.
Here you get to see Nora’s oh so scary first meeting with vampiric Ollie… or maybe not so scary.
But that’s all part of the fun of Marrowbones, the characters are all so damnably loveable and sweet, that wonderful mix of slightly creepy and ever so cute….
Yep, this is a bloody lovely little comic, deserving of your attention. It sits so well in that (oh here come the clichés) Neil Gaiman / Tim Burton sort of style. Gothic lite. Cute darkness. You know what I mean.
Luckily, Orchard has the cartoonist’s ability to make the cute palatable, make the darkness sweeter with no saccharin aftertaste. It’s a lovely little children’s fairytale of a story and you can get hold of Issue 1 and 2 from Orchard’s blog, either as single issues, or as a combined download.