‘The Chasing Arrows #1:’ Comic Book Review

In a dystopian future where most of the Earth is covered in water and the debris of a long-forgotten time, there are two worlds: the Noble Houses who live on dry land and the Chasing Arrows who live under the sea.  The Chasing Arrows are responsible for recycling all of the old plastic and other refuse that takes up most of the ocean.  Metal and other precious commodities go to the Noble Houses while the rest is used to power the old, massive ships now reconfigured as habitats for the Arrows. In essence, they are salvagers. They also manufacture their own food by farming plankton and sea fungus which, apparently, is not very tasty.

This story is about a young woman named Inara, her monkey Wrench, and a mute boy called Quinn who together maintain the piping and boiler systems at the Kaisei Atoll.  Their world is harsh and exacting. One mistake could cost lives, though most likely their own. We meet this unlikely team while Inara is training her apprentice, Quinn, as well as a brief glimpse of how the other half lives when we are introduced to a couple of sailors on the Imperial Navy Ship New Everest’s Hammer.  

Written by Thomas Miller-Donnelly with art by Neal D. Anderson, this was another one of those lucky Kickstarter finds. The art is spot on and gives us an idea of both the immensity of their world, yet also a sense of intimacy. Miller-Donnelly’s writing is quite clever in how he presents his exposition by using the setup of a training session, but since the boy is mute, there is none of that back-and-forth questioning. I also loved how he tweaked the English language to give the characters their own unique lingo. Language evolves and he balances it very well by giving us enough English to be able to understand what they are saying.

This is a unique and somewhat prophetic vision of our future, and the first issue set up the world extremely well. It also gave the characters a life-or-death dilemma to deal with. (Sorry, I don’t want to give anything away.)  It’s another example of the high level of talent that is on Kickstarter.  

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