Rating: 4.5/5 – Haunting Art Begs Us to Remember: Everything is Connected.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
The British channel island of Breith, one year after the sea sickness. That’s the opening of Surface Tension #1. Much like Walking Dead, we start at a point after everything went sideways and are taken on a journey of discovery piecing together what happened to the world as we move through the story.
Creator Jay Gunn takes us on a journey of discovery, handling the writing and art on this haunting tale of a world rebuilding itself after a large part of the population was gripped by a primal need to reach the sea and just walked out into the ocean, never to be seen again. Until now. Two people return from the sea. Changed. Are they the key to finding what happened or are they something else entirely? That’s what we’re going to need to stick around to find out.
I found Gunn’s combination of present day and flashback sequences very effective at getting me the information I needed when I needed it as he led me through the story. Weaving an environmental theme with something bordering on the mystical or alien, Gunn gives us the Coral Sentinels: what is their role in all this? Gunn teases at a lot, possibly even providing a look at ‘patient zero’ for the sea sickness, but it doesn’t seem that simple. This is not a ‘survival horror story’ like Walking Dead, though some parallels may be drawn. There is an inciting event and the world has changed, but Surface Tension seems to be more of a journey of discovery and resolution as opposed to simply finding a way to eke out a living in the new world.
Gunn really grabbed me with this over-sized 36 page debut issue. He pumps out a LOT of information but does so while keeping the story moving via some effective flashbacks that fill in critical details. And just when I thought I had a handle on they style of the story he hit me with an extremely unexpected final panel that grabbed me and has me anticipating where the story will take me in issue 2. I’ll definitely be back for more.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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