Road of Bones Issue 1
Writing: Rich Douek
Art/Colours/Cover: Alex Cormack
Letters: Justin Birch
Publisher : IDWPublishing
What’ll happen on this Road of Bones?
Road of Bones takes place in the unforgiving frozen landscape of Siberia in the 1950s. Road of Bones tells the story of Roman Morozov, who we find out is serving 25 years labor in a Siberian Gulag, for the heinous crimes of slander against Stalin. You can see the kind of unforgiving tone that Rich has set straight off the plate. Its a harsh world these characters are living in.
Roman, has a secret. He has been sneakily feeding something, not another prisoner, not feeding his rage, no he is feeding a Domovic, a creature from the depth of Slavic Folklore.
A descent into hell
Road of Bones starts out as a gritty prison break tale but soon evolves into something steeped in horror. Roman and his companions make a break for freedom during an opportune moment of confusion and panic across the camp. However, what awaits them out in the harsh landscape might even be worse.
Horror, history, and Russian folklore collide in this brutal survival tale, where the worst prison in the world is merely the gateway to even darker horrors.
The Road of Bones is submerged in horror
Rich Douek is likely best known for his career in sci-fi but his works on the horror scene are a testament to the depth of his capabilities as a writer. Road of Bones is a savage and hard tale from start to finish, you are on the edge from page one. The Gulag officers are harsh, the climate is unforgiving, the conditions within the Gulag are the things of nightmares, and that’s without a Slavic creature creeping round. If you are looking for a tale about a bunch of ragtag misfits on a zany adventure after breaking out of prison, Road of Bones is not for you. However, if you want a well written, impeccably illustrated tale about monsters, monstrous climates and the monsters that reside inside us, then I urge you to pick up Road of Bones. You won’t regret it. Well.. you might not sleep so well..
The Road of Bones visuals cut right to the bone
The art style and colours are so in sync with Rich’s narrative, there are no fun juxtapositions here it is just raw illustrations to accompany a raw narrative. There is so much life in every panel, you can feel the oppression and desperation. The use of darkness in some of the panels is very effective, it only furthers the feeling of isolation and helplessness.
I love tales from different cultures and different times, folklore and myths are absolutely my jam and Road of Bones certainly didn’t fail to deliver on that front. I am both freaked out and intrigued by this Domovic creature. It certainly is not a kindly forest spirit here to whisk Roman to safety in return for his kindness. Oh no, this isn’t a Ghibli film, the Domovic may not have acted against Roman, yet, but there is still time. We are left on a cliffhanger in issue 1 and I am eager to see where and how the series will progress.