Story Rating: 9/10
Fun Rating: 8/10
Art Rating: 8/10
I think for many people, the book I’m about to talk about is a complete unknown…
And look I totally get it!
If I hadn’t have found this in my library, tucked away in the graphic novels section between endless Marvel and DC volumes I probably would have never discovered it, but boy, was I glad that I did.
The first thing that grabs you when you pick up Geis is the artwork.
It’s kooky, has a unique style choice and a dark undertone and something about it twists the imagination.
The story itself is as strange and wonderfully unique as the art work.
It all kicks off with this fantastic passage on the first page:
“The great chief Matarka knew that death was near at hand. Having named not heir, she made her will. There would be a contest. Fate would choose the one fit to take her place. The rich, the strong, the wise, the powerful, many gave their names in hopes of being chosen. But when the night came fifty souls alone were summoned…”
A dark a twisted storyline begins as the ghost of Matarka embodied a witch who sets about a challenge… all people must return to the castle by the dawns early light or forfeit their chance at being chief. From there, all the people are magically teleported all over the kingdom to random locations: forests, farms, wilderness and rivers.
Are you still with me? Is it all making sense?
You see, the idea of a competition ain’t new, but through the 81 pages, there’s a tremendous amount of character depth and exploration of the inner workings of this witch’s intentions. The main character is a young girl called Io, who’s the daughter of a minor lord in the kingdom but she has a keen sense of justice and of loyalty. She’s the first to arrive back at the castle, just ahead of Councillor Nemas, a selfish young man who becomes the volumes archetype antagonist or villain, though a lot could be said about the hag’s role in all of this.
Without giving too much away, we watch as some members try to conquer the challenges of returning to the kingdom alone, others banding together in unity and the clear dichotomy between selfishness and honour through the lens of this competition. There’s a overbearing sense of something more larger and wicked at foot which we pick up on through Volume 2 (which I was thankful to pick up immediately but will go into at a later date).
The story is engaging, the artwork inquisitive and fresh while all along you find a strong sense of depth to every pen stroke that creates something rather exquisite. Geis is a outstanding book and while my only gripe could be the brief nature of it and the perhaps inability due to time to explore more characters and the various other roles within the world, in the pages you do get you gain a strong understanding for a core half a dozen who are the plot’s main driving force and their page time is fantastic.
Nothing more to say than try and read it.
That’s it for today’s review. Stay safe, take care and keep on reading.