Publisher: Neon Eagle
Writer: Luke Cartwright
Artist: Wnuczek Lukasz
Released: March 15th, 2020
Received: Review Request
Warnings: Death, bodies, ectopic pregnancy
I received a copy of Obscura in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Obscura is the latest dark and disturbing graphic novel to come across my desk, and it was so chilling that it’s sure to linger with me for quite some time. Set in the 1870s, this is a tale revolving around death, and the things people do to survive.
William Morier grew up as the son of a mortician, and thus he took up the trade at an alarmingly young age. However, his life was not so free and easy, even with a trade readily at hand. Especially not in a world where ghosts roam free, and guilt and misery seem to be in abundance.
William’s entire life is changed at a moment’s notice, thanks to Catherine White. She and her sister, Annabel, could famously see ghosts – and being a mortician, that is something that completely fascinated young William. That fascination carried with him into adulthood, and arguably got him into the situation that follows.
Obscura was a delightfully disturbing and chilling read. Luke Cartwright wrote something dark and insidious here, but in such an enthralling way that it was impossible to look away from. This graphic novel covers upon subjects and themes that are rife with history, and the creative team built upon all of that to create something new.
I think it was the tone of this story that made me fall in love with it. The setting lent strongly towards that tone, as did the artwork (more on that below). It was perfect, even while delving deep into how far a person will go for love – or simply to survive.
William’s story in and of itself was fascinating, yes. But it was the world itself, and the way the story was revealed that really held my interest. There were so many details carefully obfuscated, leaving the readers wondering how it was all going to connect.
Obscura is perfectly supported by the darker tones of the artwork. I absolutely adore the decision to go with grayscale for this graphic novel, it made for stark imagery, as well as some presumably strong points about the juxtaposition between life and death.
Wnuczek Lukasz was the artist for this project, and honestly? I love what I saw here. I would have happily kept reading more of this story, if only to see more stunning and speculative work revolving around these center themes.
It was the later parts of this graphic novel that really showed off the artistic style, trust me on this. I won’t go into details, because I don’t want to spoil any of it. But it was captivating, especially in regards to portraying some of the more disturbing elements and imagery (which may be slightly upsetting to some).
I am so happy that I took the time to read Obscura. I really enjoyed it, and can’t get over how beautifully written it was – and how hard the story hit me. I’m looking forward to seeing more from this team!
Fun side note: You can check out the animated trailer here, which is pretty cool!