By Claire Connelly
“Clark…Clark, can you hear me! Answer me!”
The Long Year is a collection of comics by creator Claire Connelly featuring a dozen different stories. These stories range from the surreal (a sailor at the end of a dock ends up having a seagull crawl out of his mouth) to sci-fi. Connelly uses minimal words throughout these stories, as she relies on the images to primarily push the stories along.
Some of the stories are met with black and white images, while others are basked in color. Throughout however, Connelly sticks to a mainly sketched looking approach to the artwork as a similar looking character goes on all sorts of adventures. Some of the best colors come from a story titled Sand Particles as a nameless man inhabits a world much like that of Mad Max. He’s alone in a desolate area as he wanders and finds some nourishment growing in the ground. With each one he picks up however the earth begins to swallow the page. In this story Connelly uses bright orange and yellow to depict the dry barren wasteland as the wanderer makes his way through the world thinking he’s finally found a stroke of luck… but is he really alone?
Some of Connelly’s artwork takes the reader for a weird turn, as seen in the story Speck of Dust. An astronaut witnesses a planet cracking like an egg, coming out of it a massive being. When the being grabs the astronaut the following page is covered in the astronaut’s body flowing all over the place as if turned to liquid in the palm of this other worldly being. The page is done in black and white as Connelly goes into gruesome detail to showcase the body being broken in such a way. (You thought it was bad when Bane broke Batman’s back… this is waaaay worse). All while this is happening a tech back on earth is calling out to him, asking if he’s okay (see above quote), but it looks like Clark is going to have some trouble getting back to him anytime soon.
Claire Connelly’s work is bursting at the seams with imagination and visual feasts for the eyes. You never quite know where a story is going to take you when you lay your eyes on the first page (really didn’t see the seagull thing coming). This collection is a great way to get a look at Connelly’s work and see what kind of stories artwork alone can tell.