Under The Sea

It’s not always about the music, guys. Sometimes I write about other things. Things like beer, movies, childhood, beer, and comics. I thought I’d share with you all this amazing series I’ve started to read called Low. If you don’t like that, then afterwards I’ll talk about beer. Or the album I was listening to drinking my first underage beer.

So Low is a comic by Rick Remender and drawn by Greg Tocchini. Coloring duties were also done by Tocchini until issue 8 when Dave McCaig took over. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale of an earth millions of years into the future where the sun has expanded into a “Red Giant” and has made the surface uninhabitable. Humans are forced into the oceans where underwater cities are created. The story is about Stel Caine, her husband Johl, and their three children. Stel follows the teachings of a prophet who espouses positivity, hope, and always looking for the good. Of course this way of thinking backfires and ends up tearing their family apart(of course.)

The story to this point spans over several years from the beginning to where I’m currently at, so I’m not going to drop storylines and action. I’m just going to say that this is one of the most riveting and captivating stories I’ve read in a long time. Like the best graphic novels, the story is something you can lay over your own life and can relate to. If you’re in a family dynamic in your own life then you can relate. Remender has written a dense world with characters you can relate to. Characters flawed(and in some cases quite terrible), yet even the worst of the worst seem to find redemption from the actions they’ve taken. Of course, I can’t really relate to the earth crisping from the sun to the point where I have to live in an underwater city, but the human elements are all there.

One of the most important things about this series(besides the writing of course) is the artwork. Rick Remender has written great characters, and Greg Tocchini has illustrated them beautifully. Both his drawings and the stunning use of color has given the whole series this eye-popping quality. I’m not good with describing art styles, but the look of Low puts me in mind of guys like Paul Lehr, Bob Pepper, and Frank Frazetta to name a few. The artwork is classic but it pulls you in viscerally, too. This new life under the sea is haunting, desolate, and can be quite terrifying. Living literally on canned air for years and years, always longing for fresh air that we can’t have, and wondering if we’ll ever find a new home all go into making an eye-popping, viscerally illustrated experience.

For me, the attraction to a great comic is always how well the creators can take a fantastical situation and turn it into something very human and relatable. Brian K. Vaughan is one of my favorite comic book writers. He’s done that sort of thing time and time again. Rick Remender is quickly becoming one of my favorites as well. I can’t wait for the next trade.

Give this one a shot. Now, about that beer….