Art by: Patricio Clarey
Written by: Lara Fuentes
Review by Melissa Megan
Archeologists Of Shadows has been in development for about five years now with a team that’s spread across three countries. It’s a scifi/ fantasy/ steampunk digital graphic novel series that combines drawing, sculpture, photography, photo manipulation, and digital painting. I was given the opportunity to read Volume 1, The Resistance and I can say with pure joy that I was genuinely impressed with it.
Immediately, from page one of this book, I was blown away by the art work. Fluid, heavily layered and dream like it’s a style that seems more at home in film, like the pictures want badly to move right off the page. Beautiful. Each time I return to look through Archeologists of Shadows again, I see new details that I missed before. The fact that it’s all created in a multi-media form makes perfect sense; the pictures in this book are impossibly rich in depth for 2D images. Some objects seem to be photographic in their realistic textures, others so foggy and soft they seem to be painted with gossamer. The fact that these two juxtaposed artistic impressions are so seamlessly combined attest to the great care and skill that was put into this book.
Then, there is the story. The machines are taking over, but not in an angry, death clattering Terminator or Maximum Overdrive style. This takeover is happening whisper quiet, sneaking in and simply devouring everything organic. All living things are turning mechanical and those that are not are being forced to, any who resist sent to an establishment of punishment known as Saint Peter. The powers that be, or The Authority, support the theory that this mechanization is the will of the gods and it must be obeyed. Others resist. The Archeologists simply want to communicate with the gods first hand and know if this is their will and why. Ok, they might want to accomplish a few other things involving alter egos and portals. Basically, this story will suck you in and wrap you up pretty quickly. It’s crafted with love and careful development that never slows enough to lose your attention but never speeds ahead enough to cause you to miss anything.
Archeologists of Shadows, Volume 1 is only available digitally right now through Graphic.Ly, Amazon Kindle store, iBooks and others. Volume 2 is now in development. Volume 1 is worth well more than the .99 price tag it’s currently selling at; not only do you get an incredible, gorgeous graphic novel but the bonus ‘making of’ materials are just as much fun.
Verdict: Buy it, buy it, buy it. I loved this story, loved the art. The whole thing is fantastic, thrilling and wonderful. I only hope Septagon Studios decides to publish this in print one day because it really should be given more real estate than a computer monitor allows. If anyone else has read this, I’d love to hear what you thought. I really think it stands out as something quite different and meticulously well done.