Underworld


By Lovern Kindzierski & GMB Chomichuk (Renegade Arts Canmore Ltd)
ISBN: 978-1-98782-502-2

Win’s Christmas Recommendation: A Dark Delight to Savour Forever… 9/10

Ancient literary classics have always been a fertile source of inspiration for modern artists in all arenas of expression and the works of Homer have especially called out to creators of every stripe.

Comics have had their fair share of straight adaptations, lesser or greater oblique tributes and a host of imaginative reinterpretations of the proverbially blind bard’s timeless chronicles of heroism and futility, love and adversity, but Underworld adds fresh angles and even darker poetic edges to the saga of a man fighting fate and horror to return to his home…

A beguiling new foray from Winnipeg-based Lovern Kindzierski (Shame Trilogy, Agents of Law, Tarzan Le Monstre, Star Wars) and GMB Chomichuk (Infinitum, The Imagination Manifesto, Raygun Gothic, Cassie and Tonk), with seductively effective lettering by Ed Brisson, this compelling hardback is crafted in stark monotone and utilises graphic illustration and manipulated photographs to replay The Odyssey on two complementary and contrasting levels…

Following Mike Carey’s scholarly and passionate Foreword ‘The Hard Part is Coming Home Again’ the dark descent and arduous search begins as Hector Ashton breaks out of a psychiatric hospital. The golden scion of Winnipeg’s dominant political dynasty has gone badly astray. He has dabbled in corruption, excelled in drug-dealing and barely survived a catastrophic overdose.

Now he’s loose in the city: lost in the ferocious warrens of the Club District where every evil and depravity can be readily bought and where barely-human monsters abound. However, in his delusional state Hector is convinced that he is Ulysses, travelling from moment to foreordained moment in a hellish, interminable, gods-decreed voyage back to his son and long-suffering, abandoned wife Penelope, and bolstered in that armour of hallucination he is more than a match for most of the hazards that await him…

As he staggers from trial to travail to terrifying titan, it soon becomes clear that the dangers might not be mythical but they are very real.

The metropolis’s embedded drug-lords and shadowy movers-&-shakers begin arraying even deadlier forces to ensure a weak link in a chain of corruption never makes it to anyone who might listen to the eternal truths buried within his rambling quotes and perorations…

As much gritty noir-flavoured thriller as fantastic mythical escapade, Underworld overlays the classic poem’s thematic skeleton with a grimy modern visual skin of vice and violence which is chillingly authentic and masterfully evocative, but never forgets that at its core the story is about a fallen hero finding redemption through struggle…

Allegory, metaphor, delusion or vision-gift of cruel and callous gods; Hector’s odyssey is just as epic as his symbolic totem’s ever was; every bit as dangerous and, in the end, just as triumphantly well-earned…

Supported by an Afterword from the author tracing the long and winding road of Underworld’s genesis, Creator Biographies and a wealth of sketches and designs, this is a vibrant artistic vision which deserves to be seen by the largest audience possible.
© Lovern Kindzierski, GMB Chomichuk and Renegade Arts Canmore Ltd.