The power the artist has on the viewer to think and wonder is something that is hard to earn, and even harder to master. Whilst our usual comic books have the dialogue and words to back up what unfolds on the page, it takes great design to let their images and style do the talking. I mean a picture paints a thousand words, right? Well Internal Wilderness is a strong supporter of this statement and shows the great potential of its creator. The artist’s love of nature is beautifully upheld in this piece, and helps to convey the theme of conservation in different ways.
Before I go more in depth with the book, I feel that a bit of context in regards to the artist is needed to better understand the significance of the themes and styles shown. Claire Scully is a freelance illustrator and seems to specialise in nature’s shapes and asymmetrical designs, with intricate details from animal portraits to feathers, she takes the time to include every detail and blemish that makes it unique. A mere glance at its pages shows that great time and dedication was invested throughout this book and the end product easily achieves the high standards she adheres to.
Now in terms of a story or narrative, it depends heavily upon your interpretation and own opinions towards the subject matter. This is work that’s purposely disjointed to spark ideas and discussions in its viewers. The following is mostly my own interpretation so I may miss some things here or there. The images to me present the fragile relationship between nature and humanity. As the pages unfold, the impact of humanity is soon growing beyond nature’s control and they soon ignore the damage and consequences they have on its harmony. The moon itself serves as a observer and protector of the forest, the only light source present that oversees its growth. Of course, this is my opinion and what I thought of throughout the book. I could be spot on with what she wants to say, or completely off target, but this is why this works; its open-ended nature triggers discussions and gets its readers to think, all without speaking a word.
Claire’s love of nature and high attention to detail is what makes this book mesmerising to observe. Each blade of grass, every leaf on the trees, every wave in the rivers is individually drawn to bring its vivid design and natural forming imperfections to life upon the page. The dark, mono colours emphasised through the light of the moon brings a sense of calm and harmony to the pages, whereas I felt that colour would have drawn attention away from all the details present.
Whilst a lack of a linear story may deter some readers looking for an in-depth narrative or a universe of characters, like at an art exhibition, you need to take a step back and appreciate what the artist has created. I mean some of you may see this more as a portfolio for Claire’s artistic design and I could understand why through its means of presentation. But in summary, this is far different and more unique to the usual indie comics that grace this website. Internal Wilderness is a piece of art that deserves your time as the huge level of detail is simply something to observe and marvel at.
Have you had the chance to read Internal Wilderness? What did you think it was trying to present? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!