cover image The Rush: This Hungry Earth Reddens Under Snowclad Hills

The Rush: This Hungry Earth Reddens Under Snowclad Hills

Si Spurrier and Nathan Gooden. Vault, $17.99 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-63849-096-8

Gritty historical drama meets supernatural horror in this sumptuously drawn tale set during the Yukon Gold Rush. In 1899, spirited Nettie comes to Alaska in search of her teenage son, Caleb, who was abandoned somewhere in the territories by his gold-hunting father. As she ventures forth, armed with a small pistol, Nettie faces not just the harshness of nature and the violence of remote frontier claims, but mutated monsters, ghostly animals, and a dapper demon in a bowler hat who rides a giant spider. Spurrier’s well-researched script evokes a dangerous but irresistibly eccentric world of claimstakers, gunslingers, bear hunters, murderers, and dance hall girls that teems with action even before the supernatural threats arise. The story’s disparate elements sometimes have trouble fitting together, but Gooden’s evocative, detailed art, alternately drenched in warm sepia tones and chilly winter blues, makes the most outlandish developments eerily convincing. Vibrant characters inhabit cluttered tent cities, makeshift villages, remote cabins, and brooding snowbound forests, all drawn with attention to period detail. The book strikes a wealthy mixed vein of sophisticated psychological chills and monstrous horror. Agent: Rachel Calder, Sayle Literary (for Si Spurrier). (Aug.)