What’s behind door number . . .
Welcome to the world of The Undergrounds, where an average family moves into a desolate neighborhood with a secret. While playing, the children find their way into an underground (Not really a spoiler there; it’s kind of in the title.) tunnel filled with uncountable doors, each leading to a wondrous and fantastic location. Treasures are plundered, but, soon, the children realize that the doors can swing both ways, when some of the less-than-good-guys come through to their side.
Greet Heetebrij began his tale as a nighttime story for his own family, who serve as his model for his fictional one. The story IS really fun and seems the perfect kind of tale to be loved now and then through the lens of nostalgia. The story is solid and fun, with each page bringing wit, humor, and a surprise or two. It’s the kind of tale that you feel cool reading to your kids but can enjoy yourself, as well. It hits that divide of reader/readee enjoyment quite well, and there are nods to the adults reading along. Not that this could only be enjoyed in such a setting, mind you. The plot has enough twists and turns for anyone who enjoys a family friendly romp, without talking above the heads or down to an audience. The split of maturity is handled quite well.
Jonathan Lareva brings a fun wistfulness to the artwork, landing some visual gags with a deft hand while keeping even the scariest situations calm enough for the G-rated crowd without losing the tension or sense of danger. There are a lot of great moments caught in the panels, and each reveal never fails to increase the sense of wonder.
The Undergrounds #1 was published as the result of a Kickstarter campaign, and the second and third are being funded right now. Check out the first book, and I have no doubt you’ll want to jump on board and get the next in the series funded, too. There are a good amount of levels for donation, and most come with at least digital copies of this really fun work (which you can find here). You have until March 25th to jump on board.
It’s as if the Goonies had stumbled on the doors of A Nightmare Before Christmas, and fans of either property will love this tale of a family gone adventuring.
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