Tag: cold

5 Reasons You Should Read ‘Road of Bones’

The worst prison on planet Earth – the Siberian Gulag of Kolyma – is merely a gateway for a much darker horror for Roman Ivanovich and his fellow escapees, who have hundreds of miles of frozen tundra between them and freedom. With the help of a mysterious figure (who may or may not be human), Roman and company must battle starvation, weather, wildlife and each other in order to survive. Here are five reasons why you should check out Road of Bones

Image via ComicWeek

1. The artwork

A comic is nothing without illustrations, and Road of Bones has some of the most artistically pleasing artwork I’ve ever seen in a graphic novel. It may not necessarily be the most technically proficient drawing – with asymmetrical line work and character design – but that’s part of the style, one of the ways the violent and ugly conditions of the gulag are shown to the reader. Not only that, but the sweep landscape shots are beautiful – the uniform white almost painful to the eyes – and also the many scenes with gore and drawn in sickeningly graphic detail.

 

2. The themes

Every good story is a mirror of some aspect of the real world, and comic books are no exception, especially Road of Bones. The cruelty of man against man, the amorality of life in the nature, the inherent meaninglessness of everything we value in our lives, all of these elements and more are explored in this incredibly nihilistic yet enjoyable four-part comic series.

AMBER BLAKE, GHOST TREE, and ROAD OF BONES get new printings
Image via Comic List

3. the colors

I know that this probably could be included in with the artwork, but I think it’s such a vital aspect that it deserves its own spot on this list. While I mentioned the uniform whiteness of the frigid Siberian wilderness above, color is used in a variety of other ways. The snow is so flat and has so little detail that it looks almost like a blank sheet of paper, making the blood that is spilt appear almost glowing in contrast. Not only that, but just the way the sunlight appears in the sky – low and dim and colorless – almost makes you feel the cold.

 

4. the writing

Writer Rich Douek tells the survival tale from Roman’s point of view, yet there are two other characters who accompany him, his friend Sergei and vor Grigori (a vor, for those of you who are unaware, being a ranking professional criminal in the organized crime syndicates of Russians prison system). While the characters may not be the most complicated we’ve seen in literature (I’m not going to fool you and say that they’re all Captain Ahab), they’re each given a different perspective on the situation and play off each other in an engaging way that furthers the plot.

Road of Bones Graphic Novel
Image via Green Brain Comics

5. the horror

Road of Bones combines the savage brutality man exerts over his fellow man with the dark terror of Russian folklore to make a fantastic horror experience. Throughout his time in the gulag, Roman has been feeding what he believes to be a domovik, a spirit that exists to protect the household and those living underneath its roof, and as him and company escape, he discovers that the domovik has followed him. Is it human? Is it even really there, or just a figment of Roman’s imagination? It claims that he should trust it, but should he really?

Road of Bones is a supernatural survivor horror that I highly recommend. A beautifully haunting mesh of the real-world terror of Stalin’s gulag’s mixed with the darkest aspects of Russian folklore makes Road of Bones one of my favorite limited comic book series.

Featured image via Fanbase Press

Five Frigid Books for a Warm Winter

On a personal level, I could be more broken up about it being 45 every day in NYC, but there is definitely something not in the spirit of things. Since this winter’s been so warm, get your fix of snow and frost with these books about deep winter.

 

Winterwood – Shea Ernshaw

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We have witches! We have winter choked woods! Actually, witch might be a stretch, but there’s something wrong in the Winterwood, and Nora Walker might have to find it. When a boy comes out of the woods alive after a brutal snowstorm, its secrets become too important to ignore.

 

Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater

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We’ve got another forest, yall, but I admit I’m a sucker for them. Every winter Grace watches the wolves in the woods behind her house, feeling she understands them. They end up being more connected than she could have possibly imagined, and she’s drawn further into their world of curses and winter.

 

The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden

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Vasilisa has always seen things and other people don’t, but is especially fascinated with the ice demon Frost. When her new stepmother forbids the traditions that appease and strengthen the spirits of the land, it’s up to Vasilisa and the things only she can know to save their crops, their community, and all their lives.

 

East – Edith Pattou

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Rose war wilder than her sisters since birth, and despite her mother’s efforts, can’t be kept from adventure. When a white bear promises her family prosperity if he can take her away, she agrees easily. But the bear is more than he appears, and running away into the cold was barely the beginning.

 

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis

Image result for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Image via Seven Miles of Steel Thistles

A classic, but always worth a reread. In a land held in eternal winter by the terrifying White Witch, four children discover a grand destiny and an opportunity to save a world, even if it’s not their own. If you haven’t read it, you absolutely must, and if you have, you still probably should.

 


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Images via Goodreads

Featured image via The National