Bone Orchard: The Passageway

Image. (The Bone Orchard Mythos, Bk. 1). Jun. 2022. 96p. ISBN 9781534322240. $17.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
This first volume in a new series of interconnected horror tales from collaborators Lemire and Sorrentino (whose work together includes Gideon Falls and Primordial) opens as John Reed of the Canadian Geological Society arrives upon a small, remote island, where he has travelled to investigate the appearance of a seemingly bottomless pit. The island’s only inhabitant, Sal, is a gruff lighthouse keeper who hasn’t ventured to the mainland in more than two decades. Sal seems to know more about the pit than she’s willing to share, and she’s pretty much unwilling to share anything at all, aside from where on the island it’s located. Soon after surveying the area, Reed is stricken by intense dreams about his mother’s death in an accident, years earlier. When these dreams evolve into visions of a vast, apparently uninhabited landscape covered with enormous stone carvings of nightmarish creatures, Reed questions whether he’s losing his mind or under the sway of a malevolent supernatural force.
VERDICT Sorrentino exhibits a mastery of illustrative technique, conveying creeping dread through oddly angular or looping layouts of overlapping panels, depicting unexpected details in the first half of this volume and later expressing cosmic terror with starkly realistic double-page depictions of inexplicable landscapes.
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