The fact that I like Improper Books is no secret, but I admit I was a little afraid that their soon to be released Buttefly Gate will not measure up to Porcelain: A Gothic Fairy Tale. Shame on me for even entertaining the thought! While different from the aforementioned comic, Butterfly Gate has the same ability to keep you on the edge of your seat, eager to learn more with every turn of page.
Since the comic won’t come out until November of this year, I’ll do my best to keep this as spoiler free as possible.
Benjamin Read and Chris Wildgoose (who are also behind creating Porcelain) have managed to create a brand new, entertaining and at the same time frightening world through the pages of Butterfly Gate. There were times when I was reading when I was completely taken by surprise by what was going on, having expected something entirely different and a little more clichéd than what I was getting. By the authors’ description, the story focuses on “A Brother and Sister that leave our world and its rules behind, journeying into legend through the Butterfly Gate, where every step they take will come at a price.”
Perhaps I’m reading it wrong, but the story comes across as one focused on the consequences of our actions. Spurred on by youthful excitement and maybe a dash of madness, the two siblings push the boundaries of what should and shouldn’t be done, causing a chain of events that will force them into a world that breaks apart everything they knew and understood before.
The comic is silent, every emotion, every event being conveyed solely through the images, something I thought would be impossible to achieve, but once more, I was proven wrong. The transition from two innocent looking children, catching butterflies and frogs to hardened individuals is so clear and brutal, that it’s impossible not to be impressed by the authors’ ability to showcase this transformation, while still keeping the sibling affection there, an anchor to the kids they were before stepping through the gate.
As I was flipping through the pages, I realised that we rely so much on words, on understanding the world through them, that Butterfly Gate proves an unique experience (for me at least), forcing us into a world that’s so quiet it’s almost deafening. I found myself struggling to grasp words where there were none, simply because I was so used to having them around all the time. The comic will force us to rethink a little the way in which we experience the world, having us rely on our own imagination to carry the point across and for that, I absolutely loved it.
The story started off slowly, showing us the world we’re used to, one that has perfectly sane, logical rules, the one that we can understand, only for things to precipitate in the second half, throwing us in a completely different realm and forcing us to reassess what we know. This is perfectly conveyed through the character’s shocking turn from innocence to something darker, their will to survive pushing them to become entirely new people. While this was only the first instalment, it made me want more, because it leaves you hanging in the best ways, teasing you with the promise of better things to come.
[quote]‘I think once people start following these children through the Gate and beyond they’re going to have their minds blown, the first chapter is a tiny scratch on wherewe’re going, you’re going to see these kids travel through space and time and take on armies, nations and Gods.’ [/quote]
This comes straight from the mouth of God, Chris Wildgoose, one of the creators. With that as a teaser, what more can I possibly say other than go out, buy the comic and patiently (or impatiently) wait for issue number 2 to come out.