‘The Eventide (Snow Chronicles)’ review

EVENTIDE FRONT COVER

‘The Eventide (Snow Chronicles)’ is published by Dimthroat Comics and hits stores from April 5th, 2017.

Synopsis

From the creators of Snow: The Dawn comes five new stories, delve deeper into the Snow universe and learn more about its villains The Guests and the everyday heroes who attempt to change the static ways of life.

Nick Goode & Harry Hughes welcome creative talents. Luke Barnes, Jey Levang, Maya O vrebo & Stuart McGarey.

With a soundtrack composed by Chris Gwilliam.

Review

By admission I read predominantly mainstream comics. I’m sure I said this in one of my reviews of previous issues of this series. I was born and raised on superheroes. But I certainly can appreciate a bleak future outlook. Particularly when it hits so close to home that it’s in my backyard.

‘Snow: The Dawn’ is an excellent series. It brings a really unique level of art to a complex story which is both character driven and action packed. So far the talented team of Nick Goode and Harry Hughes has released two of a planned twelve issues. There has also been two one-shots which now bookend ‘The Eventide (Snow Chronicles)’ release.

Also by admission I was really excited when Nick got in touch and asked to send me a copy of this book ahead of release.

There’s something incredibly brave about taking a project of your own and allowing others work on it. But that is exactly what Goode and Hughes have done here and to great success.

Opening story ‘Codename’ (Goode/Hughes) is classic ‘Snow: The Dawn’. It’s got mystery, intrigue and action but first and foremost its got character. The burgeoning romance of Oliver and Sarah is enough to carry the story on its own. Both characters are fully realised both through the story and the artwork. What appears to be a romance story set in a post apocalyptic future quickly becomes an espionage, almost Bond-esque affair.

I won’t give away any spoilers here but by the end of ‘Codename’ you will be left wanting more.

Next up is ‘Act One’ (Goode and Jey Levang) which brings a dash of colour to proceedings. Jey’s artwork has some hints of Babs Tarr which I really dig. There’s a real quirkiness which I like about this artwork. It’s like looking at stills from an animation. Not only does it portray the emotions of the story but it also strongly represents the characters movements and actions.

Once again there is a strong undercurrent of romance to the story. There’s more action than ‘Codename’ but equally as much heart.

The third story in ‘The Eventide’ is ‘Virtuous’ written by Luke Barnes with art by Maya O vrebo. It’s an interesting entity as it only has a story credit for Nick Goode. I went in to this story with some trepidation but it was unfounded.

‘Virtuous’ is deeply disturbing story fit for an episode of ‘Black Mirror’. We follow the character of Noah as he uncovers the truth of the people he works for. Those people are, of course, Vices Enterprise. It’s a classic story of the wool being pulled away from ones eyes.

Guest writer Luke Barnes has crafted a story which pulls the reader along as we delve deeper in to the rabbit hole. Noah is a tragic character who wants beyond all else to do good but finds himself working for the bad guy.

Much like some of the other stories here there’s a predetermined idea about where we as a reader will expect them to go. Just like those other stories ‘Virtuous’ doesn’t go there.

Next up is ‘Vices’ (Goode and Stuart McGarey) which is easily the most experimental story in the book. The artwork is so striking that even after reading through several times I have to remind myself to focus on the words. McGarey takes the story and makes it in to a true work of art.

The story revolves around a man brought to his knees through addiction who becomes involved with a Vices Enterprise drug trial. The illustration definitely made me feel like I’d taken something. It’s trippy from start to finish but like the other chapters in this book it never detracts from the story. I challenge any reader to not be mesmerised by it.

Just because it’s bright and colourful don’t expect a happily ever after. So far in the world of ‘Snow: the Dawn’ there are no truly happy endings.

The last story is ‘Energy’ (Goode/Hughes) which bookends ‘The Eventide’ perfectly. Once again by the classic team up of Goode and Hughes the story is another taste of ‘Snow: the Dawn’ espionage. This time we follow reporter Laura as she uncovers some of the dirty secrets of Vices Enterprise. Once again Nick Goode’s writing is able to build a compelling character in a short space of time before introducing a mystery and eventual twist.

One consistent thread throughout the book is the strong storytelling which is typical of this series. It’s testament to the strength of the concept that it is able to handle a diverse range of stories without ever becoming diluted.

As great as the guest artists are – and they really are great – it’s Harry Hughes whose artwork IS ‘Snow: the Dawn’. It’s a wise choice to have ‘Codename’ and ‘Energy’ bookend the ‘The Eventide’. They ground this anthology book in there story of the main series allowing the in between stories to flourish in their own right.

Verdict

One thing which is abundantly clear when reading ‘The Eventide (Snow Chronicles)’ is that these guys know what they’re aiming for and they’re not afraid to take risks to get there.

Each chapter has a unique aesthetic and no two stories feel the same. There’s strong artwork throughout and most importantly it never becomes a style over substance product.

‘The Eventide (Snow Chronicles)’ is at it’s best when it pushes the boundaries of its storytelling so I have to single out ‘Vices’ as the most avant-garde of any comic I’ve read in recent years.

Simply put. A must read.

9/10

About Neil Vagg 892 Articles

Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember.

Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men

Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice

Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG