On the high seas no one can hear your screams
Discovering a new creative team is one of those experiences that makes you feel fulfilled as a reader. Reading a work and feeling that you have found some authors to add to your list of names to follow in the footsteps. Something like this was what happened to me when I read road of bonespremiered in our country as the road of bones. The comic created by some strangers rich duek Y alex cormack I was completely captivated, a horror story in which survival, real events and the supernatural went hand in hand to weave a short story, but powerful and chilling, with shocking art that dazzled by its dirty whiteness. And yes, that was a pleasant surprise, but there is something even better than discovering a new team of authors: checking that they are still in shape.
the sea of sorrows is the second adventure rich duek Y alex cormack as a creative team, a job that once again finds shelter under the roof of IDW Publishing. Originally published in 2021 under the original title of sea of sorrows, this new self-contained story has confirmed that its authors are worthy of our attention and that of international publishers. At least the one of Planetwhich has taken over from the narcoleptic Hydra and in this recently released 2023 it has launched to cheer us up when we are back at school with an impeccably made horror story in which its authors change the Siberian white for the abysmal black.
The story takes us to the bowels of the Atlantic Ocean during the interwar period. Aboard their trusty old ship, a team of marine explorers pursues a succulent target: a shipment of gold belonging to an old German submarine lost during World War I. Thanks to a tip, the team tries to locate the place where the sunken ship rests and get the loot. However, a group of mercenaries in charge of ensuring that they pay their debts with the recovered treasure will cause mistrust to soar during the journey. And as if that were not enough, a nameless horror begins to loom from the bottomless blackness of the sea. A horror preceded by a sinister song… and irresistible.
the sea of sorrows It was born from the desire of its creators to continue exploring terror based on one of its most classic tropes: that of the group of isolated characters threatened by a superior evil. So, starting from alien either the thing as the clearest references, Douek raised the basic proposal to Cormack in search of a setting that would attract the artist. And the answer was at the bottom of the sea. Some sketches by the cartoonist with a diver surrounded by shadows opened the season to start building a classic story, but supported by the identity of its authors.
And it’s hard to talk about the sea of sorrows to say nothing of the road of bones, and not because they have some kind of plot connection. With his second work, Douek Y Cormack they decide to repeat various patterns, starting already with their own three-word title. The story is once again built on a true event (on this occasion, the disappearance of the German submarine Bremen in 1916). The color once again marks the identity of the work (black), representing a hostile setting (the sea) in which the work takes place. A supernatural threat looms over characters whose fate already looks ugly due to their moral turpitude. Thus, all these patrons are achieving a kind of spiritual rhyme with their previous work that enriches, even if only in a purely aesthetic sense, the immersion in the authors’ bibliography.
In any case, this is still accessory to what is important, which is the comic itself. And the result is fantastic again. rich duek It shows us once again how well it handles tension, linking a plot that during its five issues knows how to distribute calm, twists, scares and revelations. It is also clear that Douek He is a writer who masters terror like a charm and knows how to exploit its most primitive facet. Like his previous work, the sea of sorrows is a work that explores the worst impulses of the human being to create in the reader a feeling of discomfort that is intense even before the supernatural threats in question appear, although it is true that on this occasion they have a much more central presence than in road of bones. The final result is a story with a perfect rhythm, which doesn’t revolutionize anything but works like a real shot.
Of course, for me the element that makes the work stand out completely is without a doubt its art, because the work of alex cormack it is superb. That complicity between the cartoonist and a scriptwriter who practically builds the story on what his partner wants to draw is very noticeable, because Cormack He has a great time capturing that marine scene and making the most of its possibilities. As it happened in the road of bones With the imposing white of Siberia, here it is fascinating how the artist manages to play with the anguish and claustrophobia of that seabed submerged in the most absolute shadows.
Another detail to highlight is the design of the function monster. The authors resort to the classic myth of mermaids, those predatory sailors far removed from the tender figure of Ariel, and Cormack gives it his touch of personality with an unorthodox and somewhat grotesque design that works great. To all this we must add the peculiar style of the artist, who with his particular line and coloring creates blurred faces and a rough finish, as if his comics were covered by a dirty mist that completely channels the most sensory part of a story. Horror.
Definitely, the sea of sorrows is the certification that rich duek Y alex cormack They are a team to keep in mind, especially for horror lovers. The creative duo gives us a dark classic story that treasures enormous quality and art full of power. A work that adds to the road of bones to give shape to his particular horror saga. A saga marked by colors, like Jeremy Saulnier’s filmography, and which will soon add green to black and white, in view of the imminent US release of Breath of shadows, their third work together. Hopefully Planet repeat, because we will be here to talk about it.
• Cormack’s spectacular drawing, claustrophobic and terrifying.
• How Douek’s story knows how to combine the supernatural genre with human baseness.
• The original design of the mermaids.
• That we have to wait for the next work of this tandem.
Original edition: Sea of Sorrows #1-5 USA (IDW Publishing, 2021) National edition/Spain: Comic Planet, 2023 Script: Rich Douek Drawing: Alex Cormack Color: Alex Cormack Translation: Víctor Manuel García de Isusi Format: Cartoné. 144 pages, colour. €16.95 On the high seas no one can hear your screams Discover a new creative team…
The Sea of Sorrows, by Rich Douek and Alex Cormack
The Sea of Sorrows, by Rich Douek and Alex Cormack