This week I am going to talk about a graphic novel that I have had kicking around on my laptop and device for a little while. It’s small publisher Eyekon Publishing’s, A Frozen World, written and illustrated by Nick Andors. Bundle up, it’s chilly in Irongates.
A Frozen World is a graphic novel about the city/world of Irongates, a dystopian tale where the entire city/world seems to be a prison. Everything closes, including apartment buildings, homes and what not, at night, forming a lockdown. The people who live in Irongates range from those who break this curfew, those who obey and mainly, those who just want to survive. There are 4 stories in the collection, each story is very different and follows a different character as they live, work and, in some cases, die in Irongates.
I really enjoyed each story, or link, in the book. My favorite story though was titled “Link 2: Dying Love”. This story is about a man named Geoffrey, a member of the body patrol, a group tasked with the cleanup of dead bodies off the streets of Irongates. He is a quiet man who goes about his tasks with his partner. As the story progresses we start to hear more about Geoffrey and what makes him so quiet. Basically, the day we see him is his wedding anniversary. It also happens to be the anniversary of his wife’s death. We find out that she was murdered on their wedding day during a riot, one he had to leave his wife on his wedding night to clean up after. He was devastated, obviously, as he was called in to clean up her corpse. What he finds is even worse though as she was pregnant, and his child was ripped from her stomach. As the day progresses we also find out that he kept her body instead of delivering it to the crematorium, and every anniversary he makes his wife’s favorite meal and hangs her bones on the wall and has dinner with his wife. I loved his story because it was a deeply touching tale of a man whose love never died, even in the harsh reality of the world he exists in. It touched me and really made me fall in love with this book.
The writing in this book is good. Nick Andors does one thing that I absolutely love though. Each story is connected to another in some way. For example this first story is about a guy who leaves his locked down apartment to find cigarettes at night, he stumbles across a body with a cigarette and when the next story starts Geoffrey is cleaning up the body the first character got the smoke from. This continues throughout all four stories. This serves to really center the book and make each story really feel like it’s connected to the previous and takes place in the same world. I love anthology type stories that clearly and plainly take place in the same world.
The art is fantastic and the black and white style works so well with the feel of the book. The art, I will admit, I didn’t love at first but the more I read the more I realized how well it fit the tone of the story. The lack of color also allows Nick to do great things with shadows, which helps to make the world of the book feel darker and dystopian.
I give this book a 4 out 5. I would gladly and happily read more stories set in this world. Nick Andors is a great writer and artist and I look forward to seeing what he does next.