At Last the Light is a gothic horror comic set in 19th century Edinburgh. If you’re me, that’s pretty much all you’ll need to be sold on this comic. Most of you are not me, however, so I’ll have to elaborate a bit more.
Eliza and her father see that the nearby lighthouse is getting dimmer. Fearful that it may be dangerous for passing ships, Eliza rows over to the island to find Stewart, the lighthouse keeper, and see what’s wrong. While searching for Stewart, she encounters some other strange and somewhat disconcerting characters and begins to uncover a tale of death, despair, and treachery.
The comic is a one-shot, so plot real estate is a bit more limited than usual. As such, I’m hesitant to say too much more about how things unfold. Honestly, you’re better off going in without any preconceived notions. Suffice it to say, the story by Simon Birks (who also wrote Clodagh which I had the pleasure of reviewing earlier this year) is compelling and creepy and a great read.
What really sets this comic apart, though, is the artwork by Anna Wieszczyk. It’s gorgeous and detailed and very much stylized to fit with the period and the themes. Not quite black and white, it manages to be vibrant without a lot of color.
In addition to the regular English language version, there are evidently two translations in the works: one into modern Scots (“At Last the Licht”) and one into period Scots (“At Lest the Licht”). I don’t speak either, but I’d still be fascinated to see them – or hear them read aloud.
But again, that’s just me. And as we’ve established, most of you are not me. So for the rest of you, here’s what you need to know, in a nutshell: Everything, from the story to the characters to the images to the coloring, seems carefully designed to give it that mysterious, unsettling, gothic horror feel. And in that regard, it succeeds brilliantly. If you’re into gothic horror, or Scotland, or lighthouses, or (like me) all of the above, then you’ll want to check out At Last the Light.
Creative Team: Simon Birks (writer), Anna Wieszczyk (art and colors), and Rob Jones (letterer)
Publisher: Blue Fox Comics
Click here for the Blue Fox Comics website. This comic will soon be launching on Kickstarter.