Deep by Tom Taylor, art by James Brouwer

The Deep

a review by Nalini Haynes

The Deep says, ‘Here be dragons.’  Among other things.  Aronnax, the submarine that is home to a trans-national family, the bickering brother and sister Ant and Fontaine, and their parents Kaiko and Will. Not to mention Jeffrey the fish. A sighting of a sea monster off Greenland arouses Will’s curiousity, so the Aronnax sets out to investigate.

Character interplay incorporates sibling bickering that the parents largely ignore. One scene with villagers in Greenland reminded me strongly of Asterisk and Obelisk, while another scene reminded me strongly of the Die Hard movies’ conflict between the wife and the reporter.

The style of artwork varies from almost realistic to a more child-like rendering of line work that evokes the youthful enthusiasm of the characters. The colouring is vibrant, with contrast and variety adding an aesthetic appeal to the imagery.
Towards the close of this issue there are hooks and hints about what is to unfold, inspiring readers to keep following the story.

The Deep is a delightful story aimed at a family audience, waiting to be transformed into a Dreamworks movie. While much ‘family’ entertainment really means ‘children’, The Deep truly appeals to a wide ranging audience. Highly recommended.

Originally published in Dark Matter issue 5, September 2011.  This post has been pre-dated to reflect the original publication date.