Murky Depths: Issue 0 Promo Review

murky depths cover issue zero brit les edwards arwork scifiMurky Depths Promo Issue

Graphically Dark Speculative Fiction

As previously mentioned, Murky Depths is a brand new printed ‘zine which posits itself as something which brings together different storytelling techniques in a single magazine that will entertain its reader with its enjoyable, dark and thought-provoking fiction.

This demo issue has a mixture of graphically dark art strips, written fiction, poetry based on the artwork accompanying it - which was inspired by Richard Matheson’s ‘I Am Legend’, and one story which is a mixture of written fiction and graphical fiction.

First impressions: even though this is only sixteen pages long, it crams a whole lot in. And you have to remember that this is the promo issue, and that issue one will be around eighty pages. The pages are ‘american comic book’ size, which to me is neither here nor there, it works very well, and reminds me of Marvel and DC comics. On page sizing, as long as something printed is not too small it can’t be read, or too big it looks like you’re reading The Times, I don’t mind.

The quality of the paper is professional and it is non-glossy, which again, is perfect - it stops light reflecting off it and making it unreadable, or only readable at an angle. Binding is a couple of staples which is suitable for this small promo issue. The colour on the front and back cover is vivid and certainly stands out. I should mention the unusual front cover artwork ( By Les Edwards) which you can see in this review - it looks way better on the cover. And it is dark. And weird. And.. well, maybe not one for the kiddies.

Inside it is black and white, but don’t let this put you off. The eye catching black and white artwork (including the comic strips) throughout does well to complement the black text on white background, which again, means it’s easy on the eyes, and readable (non of this red text on a nice colour picture which looks totally unreadable).

Spyros Verykios

With people gradually transforming into cockroaches for no apparent reason, the protagonist and his companion can only travel at certain times when TK-47 is visible (I’m trying to not to spoil the story) or risk being accosted by the coackroaches. This is quite a shocker: its dark, broody and is reflected well in the vague, shadowy artwork. The last plates in the story escalate it to a satisying climax.

The Dead Man And The Berserk
Matt Wallace

Two guys enter a club looking for their target. Using some neat gadgets, this (again) strange and dark story mixes visual horror with scifi in a short, but sweet and almost saddening story. It’s worth a read, even for the images it counjours in the mind, and also for a future scenario of ‘a man just doing his job’.

Submit Now
Lavie Tidhar

When I first saw this page I thought uh oh, what is this? Consisting of one page or fiction in the form of a browser window (Windows Internet Explorer… it should have been a Mac browser, or something drawn specifically), with the text laid out as a simple webpage. Its basically a call for submissions for people, as the world (”as you know”), will be destroyed in seven days…
It’s a particularly funny piece, and kind of rings true, in such a way that it would be possible for a suitably advanced technology to actual do what is propsed in the story.

One thing I couldn’t understand is that the url which is shown is actually some sort of shopping site… I was expecting to see the actual fiction text to be displayed. But maybe that’s just how I operate - if I see an obviously fictional url in a movie (and it looks syntactically correct) I’ll go and check it out for real.

A Time…
Art: Garry Brown
Poetry: Sylvanus Moxley

Pick a story, draw some inspired artwork from said story, ask someone else to write a poem based on the inspired artwork based on the said story. Normally, I’m not one for poetry, but this is a different angle. The artwork is based on Richard Matheson’s ‘I Am Legend’ and certainly encapsulates the feeling of the book. The poetry, likewise, leans towards the picture and comes across as quite indepth. A real neat idea.

We Want The Bandwidth
Matt Wallace

This non-fictional article outlines the changes in Podcasting over the past couple of years. It discusses the shifting emphasis from the written word, including publishers and agents, to do it yourself promotion by way of the recorded word. Podcasting is nothing new, but it is interesting to hear that certain authors have been almost disillusioned by rejection letters from publishers that they have decided to go it alone, or at least test the waters to see what happens with a new novel.
This is certainly an interesting and well written read.
Now.. where’s my microphone?

One Way Or Another
From: FutureQuake
Script: Nick Andreychuk
Art: Tim Twelves
Letters: BOLT-01

A razor edged, one page art strip which is my favourite of the lot. After reading it, it poses more questions than answers, and the twist at the end is superb. It’s not really a genre story, but it still gives you the ‘what!’ when you’ve finished it. Being only one page, it is sharp, and to the point, with nice artwork, remeniscent of older 2000AD strips.

I will certainly look forward to the first issue of Murky Depths, especially to see how it is all put together in a ‘full sized’ edition.

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