Graphic Novel Review: Archeologists of Shadows

Image credit: Patricio Clarey
As I've said before, I'm relatively new to the world of graphic novels and comics. The first graphic novel I ever read was Watchmen, but fortunately, being initiated into the genre by such a monumental and canonical work did not set me up to be disappointed by everything else I encountered. To the contrary, I realized how powerful and moving such a style of storytelling can be.

One of the things I like best about the graphic novel genre is that it isn't shallow in the least to make your next reading selection based entirely on the art. In other words, there's no shame in "judging a book by its cover" when it comes to graphic novels. In fact, so far, for me this has proved to be a most rewarding method of choosing my graphic novel reading material. Once you visit the Archeologists of Shadows site, it should become self-explanatory why art was the basis for my decision to purchase it.

Image credit: Patricio Clarey
Archeologists of Shadows is a sci-fi/fantasy/steampunk story written by Lara Fuentes with art by Patricio Clarey. In the world of the novel, everyone is turning into a mechanical being, but no one is really sure why. They are simply told it is the will of the gods. Our protagonists, Alix and Baltimo, are making the transformation somewhat slower than everyone else, and this fact is drawing some attention from the authorities...

Image credit: Patricio Clarey
Archeologists of Shadows' story is robust enough that it could flesh out the pages of a traditional novel, and it would be a novel any science fiction fan could enjoy. However, my wholehearted recommendation of this book is really due to the artwork. Clarey's stunning digital painting is like a hybrid of "Metropolis" and the aesthetic of the Dwemer race in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I am proud to have Archeologists of Shadows in my collection, and will certainly return to read it again over and over. What I would really love is to see this story translated into film.

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