Butterfly Gate is all sorts of different.
The main way in which Butterfly Gate will be different from the other comics in your collection – unless you’re something of a master – is that Butterfly Gate has no text. There’s neither dialogue nor description.
In other words; all you get are image panels.
Impressively, Butterfly Gate manages to tell an engrossing story with just the images. Wait, no, that’s not quite right. I’d say the lack of text adds interpretation to the adventure that the brother and sister find themselves on. There are plenty of dramatic scenes and I suspect my imagination was suitable put into gear by the graphic story telling.
Here’s the quick summary; this lack of text, this silent comic approach, actually works. The twist? I wouldn’t want to do this too often.
Butterfly Gate will be an on-going, episodic, SF odyssey and it feels like one I’d like to keep up with. I don’t think I’ve room in my comic book reading life for many more.
Written by Benjamin Read, Butterfly Gate follows a brother and sister (and I’d guess they might be Victorian) as they wind up in a fantasy world. There are early clues in the images of sci-fi in the background so let’s again suppose this is a far future sci-fi in which much of the tech has been left behind. Or perhaps this is just a low tech part of the world.
One thing is clear is that this new world is harsh and tough. It’s seen some hard times. It looks very much like godlike deities once fought and lost.
The question is; if gods can struggle and die here – what chance to our two Victorian siblings have? Can they possibly adapt enough to stay alive?
We’ll certainly have a visual treat as we find out. Butterfly Gate is stunning. It may be a comic that puts all the emphasis on the art and the visual storytelling but it does so with confidence because it is illustrated so well. Chris Wildgoose has worked his own magic for this one.
I was provided an PDF copy for review. Butterfly Gate; Benjamin Read & Chris Wildgoose, Improper Books, £7.99. Issue One is due out November 20th, 2013.