Tales From the Deep
The Drawn Chorus Collective
Story: Fred Campbell
Art: Abigail Moulder, Alex Moore, Cathy Kwan, Daniel Duncan, Eileen Kwan, Lefki Savvidou, Nadine Scherer, Zanna Allen, Martin Ursel
Now, normally for graphic novels I go to the podcast, but I'm having a small issue with PodOmatic right now soooo I'm going to stick to this format. What is the Drawn Chorus Collective? I'm glad you ask. The DCC is a group of folks with various talents who have joined together to make stories and art in numerous styles to reach a broad audience of not just comic fans, but fans of art in general. This is their first major work, and oh what a work it is!
This book is a collection of short stories with a twist! One night at an old pub on a rickety pier some sailors and various other hardened sea folk are playing some games of chance with one another. An elderly gentleman in a raincoat is unimpressed by their games, so decides to play one of his own. He is going to tell a series of stories, some true and some not. If those listening can guess which is which he will give them a hefty sum of cash. What follows are various fantastic tales of giants, divers, sailors, monsters, whales, and more.
Some of these stories are frightening, some are just fun, and some even have an uplifting quality about them. Campbell's writing is spot on as he works with these artists and we get to see all manner of man from noble to downright despicable. Though the writing shifts a bit to accommodate each style, Campbell captures a clear atmosphere and whimsy brought on by the thought of this salty gentleman telling these stories, and the unique characters that inhabit them.
In an anthology such as this, the art is hard to touch upon, your best bet is looking at the pictures I have included in the post (I'll caption them with the artist). Each of the styles in this book is completely unique. From Martin Ursell we see an almost storybook-esque style that grows more absurd (in a great way) with every panel. Ursell's style is completely different from Nadine Scherer's style which goes for more of a painterly quality, dealing with what lies beneath, letting the reader's imagination wander. Zanna Allen's contribution provides visuals which look like they could be straight out of a sailing guidebook, giving a never before seen reading experience. Meanwhile, Alex Moore goes for a more illustrative, cartooning feel, bringing a little bit of life to the very dark story. Each of the 10 artists in this title brings something extraordinary to the table, and it is very clear that they were all in total understanding with the central theme of the story. To further tie each of these tales in with the rest of the book, there is a relatively common color pallet used from story to story, providing a very cohesive feeling.
The Drawn Chorus Collective is debuting with one hell of a book, full of enticing subject matter and powerful visuals. With so many stories and varied art styles there is absolutely something for everyone in Tales From the Deep. This team of creators clearly had a vision, and it is so wonderful to see it actualized! Find more info on how to get this book and the Collective at this site!