Book Review: Bones of the Coast
Warnings: Bit of gore, mentions of Japanese internment camps, self harm, suicide,
Positive Representation: Gender non-conforming character, Native American Representation, various other POC representation, various other LGBTQAI+ representation, realistic women of varying ages.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Bones of the Coast is a horror comic anthology based in the Pacific Northwest, featuring 22 short comics from a wide variety of creators. The comics are diverse, well written, and well drawn across the board. There’s a little bit of everything you’d want in a collection of creepy Pacific Northwest comics: fey, demons, doppelgangers, curses, zombies, and more. The characters are wonderfully diverse and realistic including multiple LGBTQIA+ characters, Native American characters, POC characters, and very realistic women of varying ages.
If you’re looking for horror and paranormal work that doesn’t rely on annoying old tropes such as overuse of things like gore and rape to fake being scary, this is the collection you’re looking for. There are the aforementioned triggers such as a bit of self harm and gore, but they aren’t the driving force behind the stories they are featured in. They are one facet of the larger narrative of the comics.
The collection itself is incredibly well put together. For some reason many comic anthologies don’t have any division between the comics, so the only way you can see that one comic has ended and another started is the change in art style. Bones of the Coast doesn’t do that. Instead it wonderfully divides the book with an opening page for each comic. On that opening page they have little bios and contact info for the artists and authors that worked on that specific comic. It was a refreshing way to organize the anthology and makes it fantastically easy to seek out the amazing artists and authors involved in the book so that you can find more of their lovely work.
I enjoyed every comic in the anthology, but “Don’t go to the Island,” “The Cove,” “The White Raven,” and “Hope Everything Okay” were my favorites. “Don’t go to the Island” has a beautiful art style I completely fell in love with, and tells the story of a sister going to rescue her siblings from an island filled with Fey and other monsters. “The Cove” has an incredibly unique, vibrant art style that also captured my attention. The story itself in “The Cove” takes the real-life news stories of feet, and only feet, frequently washing up in the Pacific Northwest and gives it a wonderful paranormal explanation involving a tricksy water spirit. “The White Raven” has good art overall, but there was one panel in particular that I found particularly stunning, though I won’t spoil which one! “Hope Everything Okay” had a wonderful use of light in its art style and featured a diverse cast of young women out camping in the woods when the paranormal catches up with them.
I honestly can’t recommend this anthology enough. It is the best put together comic anthology I have read in a long time, the art and writing are fantastic across the board. It is also so diverse you almost want to cry. Go read it, then come back and tell me which comic was your favorite!