Having read East Coast Rising and most recently Demo (with Brian Wood), I went in search of more work by Becky Cloonan. This arresting book collects three of her self-published stories in a splendid hardback volume.
In Wolves, a knight is sent out into the forest after unnamed prey at the behest of his king. As he searches, his thoughts go back to his woman, so beautiful and fragile. She had begged him not to go out on this mission and their parting haunts him. As he closes in on the horror he has been sent to dispatch, he comes to terms with what that horror actually is, no matter the personal cost.
In The Mire, Owain the knight sends Aiden, a young squire, on an important mission to deliver a letter to the Castle Ironwood. Aidan is frustrated that he will miss the big battle and vows to complete his task in record time. But this turns out to be no simple mission. Within the frightful withering swamp that he must traverse and the castle beyond, he unlocks the secret to his past.
Demeter tells the story of two young lovers who live on the cliffs above the sea. He is a fisherman who has survived the wreck and utter devastation of his fathers fishing boat seven years earlier. Or has he?
The artwork is altogether different from her work in Demo and even East Coast Rising. More intricate and lush, with some striking use of shadow and form. These stories are part ghost story, part mythology, part Gothic romance and all terrific. Really looking forward to discovering more of her work.
When bones, when blood, when limbs are broken,
Bone to Bone, blood to blood, limb to limb,
Let them be bonded.