Marrowbones by Eric Orchard – a digital comic you really should get

Marrowbones issue #2 has just arrived on my digital doorstep and it’s just as wonderful as issue #1.

Follow Nora, an orphan who finds a strange but fulfilling sense of belonging and identity with her uncle Barnaby at his occult Ravensbeard Inn. Nora’s never been one to fit in, and on finding herself without home or parents, she’s taken (literally) in by her uncle, whose establishment is a business that caters to the undead, otherworldly, and magical.

Oliver's Tomb

In the first issue, we get Nora’s backstory and are introduced to a host of other characters that populate the Marrowbones world. Marrowbones Swamp is the location for this story, where it’s always evening and it’s always October.

Some have called Eric’s work cutesy and others creepy. I find Marrowbones to be a charming mix of darkness and hope which manages to straddle the line between young fiction and gothic horror. It is dark without being scary, dark without the emotional baggage such stories often carry with them. A fresh look into the creepy/cutesy dynamic that made its appearance with Edward Scissorhands and hasn’t really left since.

In issue #2, “Oliver’s Tomb,” we’re treated to a fairly fast-paced story where Nora, on an errand for a witch staying at Ravensbeard, uncovers something dark and dangerous, and also learns more about Oliver (the resident vampire) and the code to which the undead and dark adhere. Thrusting the reader further into the world of Marrowbones, #2 takes an episode out of what is now a typical day (evening?) for Nora in her new world. It’s exciting, creepy, scary, but ultimately rewarding in experience and in meeting the interesting characters that surround her.

Oliver bursts forth!

At heart, Marrowbones is a light fairy tale featuring characters and creatures we normally associate with darkness. In depth it remains a fairly simple story, which makes for an easy read and serves us better with uncomplicated storytelling in the tradition of fairy tales throughout time. This also lets the reader concentrate more on the artwork.

The art, as always, is fantastic and enthralling, easily pulling the reader straight into the world that is Marrowbones and keeping us there through the issue. I’ve always been a fan of Eric’s artwork and have yet to be disappointed with his style. Eric’s unique artwork makes Marrowbones shine with its mix of odd imagery, expressive faces, dark colors, and interesting angles and curves.

You can purchase both Marrowbones #1 and #2 directly from Eric’s site.  Issue #1 is two dollars; issue #2 is three dollars. You’ll be grabbing a great new comic, getting some fantastic art, and supporting an independent artist along the way.

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