By Dustin Cabeal
The Mark is more storybook than comic for me. I typically like when Eric Grissom and Claire Connelly team up so I was willing to give this book a chance. Overall, it’s a well put together story. I understand what I read, but I feel the deeper meaning it was going for wasn’t clear enough for me to grasp.
The Mark follows a man as he’s chopping down wood in the forest. He happens upon a cursed tree of sorts and makes the mistake of cutting it down. He burns it for warm that night in the woods and is approached by the spirit trapped in the tree. Things don’t go well for the main character after that because he becomes marked by that evening.
There’s no dialogue. The narration is again like a storybook. You read one side of the page and look at the art on the other. The story is well-written, but at times the writing hurt the art. The art was showing what we already read at times. While this worked some of the time other times, it did not.
The art is good throughout. I enjoyed Connelly’s style and enjoyed her simple black and white pages with greyscale. It added personality to the story that the writing style couldn’t interject itself. The art is the only place we get to experience the main character’s personality and see how he’s dealing with the events he’s going through. Without the art or Connelly, I don’t know if this story would hold up on its own.
It’s not a bad story. It’s just wasn’t as rewarding of a read as I would have expected. It almost intentionally ends in a melancholy way, but just misses the mark. Like I said in the beginning, I’m not sure I got the deeper meaning it was going for, and that’s a shame because I liked everything else about it for the most part.
I would encourage you to decide for yourself by supporting the project on Kickstarter where it’s currently running. Since the book is completed, you don’t have to worry about never getting the comic. If you go for the digital option, I suspect you’ll have the issue rather quickly after the campaign ends. It’s an interesting story and definitely one that might be better with discussion, so check it out for yourself and let me know what you think of it. What I might have missed.
Keep making comics.
Writer: Eric Grissom
Artist: Claire Connelly