"The Vessel of Terror" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Markosia Enterprises
Written by Magnus Aspli
Illustrated by Dave Acosta
2011, 113 Pages
Graphic Novel Published on October 1st, 2011
Something glossed over quite a bit when it comes to the ocean is how little we know about it. There are parts of the sea that are incredibly deep and we can't even get a camera down there to take a picture of what might be lurking below. We can speculate though, and it can make for some interesting stories. Author Magnus Aspli has set out to do just that with The Vessel of Terror, an original graphic novel that focuses on a ship's crew that discover a Magnapinna Squid, the first one ever captured by mankind. Inspired by actual events -- and actual mystery behind what dwells in the oceans depths -- The Vessel of Terror made me question just how much I want to visit the beach again.
Strange things start happening once the crew has the squid on board. They start to lose it, one by one, and get a little murdery. Throughout the graphic novel, there are flashbacks to a plague that ravaged a village hundreds of years ago. It's unclear at first how the two stories tie in to one another, but everything comes together by the end of the book in a great way.
Although I dug the story, the art by Dave Acosta has its ups and downs. It is very uneven. The first few pages look terrific, but as the book continues, characters get a little funny looking and are often making odd expressions. It could have done with a bit more polish. Acosta really excels at the depictions of the squid, though. The tentacles are drawn very long and gangly, almost like spider's legs. It solidifies the feeling that this creature is just not natural. Reading this book at night, you can almost feel the tentacles creeping up on you. The flashback scenes also look great. Each is presented devoid of color, almost as if the pages were found and pasted in to the story.
The Vessel of Terror is a spooky tale that's going to keep you out of the water for a few days. It's like Jaws with a supernatural element. Any fans of sea monsters or other tentacled monsters that aren't Cthulu should check it out. At the very least you'll probably think twice before ordering calamari again.