cover image Geis: A Matter of Life and Death

Geis: A Matter of Life and Death

Alexis Deacon. Nobrow (Consortium, dist.), $18.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-910620-03-8

Children’s book illustrator Deacon (Croc and Bird) starts an epic fantasy with his first graphic novel. In an unnamed fantasy world, the Great Chief Matarka has died leaving no heir. The Chief Judge, the High Priest, the Lord Chamberlain, the Grand Wizard, and the young daughter of the Kite Lord are among those summoned to a trial to determine who will rule in her place. But an evil sorceress has taken control of the contest and tricks them all into agreeing to a cursed geis, or taboo, sending them on scattered quests across the land. Tangled forests, deserts, bat-filled caverns, rivers, and medieval towns are rendered in loose brushwork with clumps of gorgeous detail, a meeting of Maurice Sendak and Pieter Bruegel. The early scenes are colored in a palette of soft ochers, pale blues, and peaches. The pages darken to include greens, moody violets, and charcoal blacks as the contest gains deadly urgency, with this first volume ending in a startling cliff-hanger. (July)