Image: Nobrow

Alexis Deacon has earned considerable recognition for his work as a writer and illustrator of children’s books, and one look at his new Nobrow graphic novel Geis: A Matter Of Life And Death shows why. The first part of a historical fantasy trilogy, this book sends readers to a richly detailed land of magic and mysticism, where 50 people are tested to determine who will replace the fallen great chief. By scattering those 50 souls across the land, Deacon gives himself ample opportunities to explore this expansive environment, and one of the most exciting elements of the book is the sense of wonder that arises as Deacon reveals more of this setting.

Deacon’s talent for evocative character design, dramatic composition, and atmospheric coloring are spotlighted on the very first page of this extended excerpt, and each new page reveals a new facet of Deacon’s immense skill. The moment-to-moment storytelling is very smooth, and he makes excellent use of a four-row panel layout to control the pacing of the dialogue and action while accentuating the big moments that get full-page spreads. As good as these pages look, they’re even more gorgeous in print, so readers should seek out the handsome hardcover of Geis: A Matter Of Life And Death when it hit stands next month.

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