Creator: Tom Manning
Publisher: Robots and Monkeys Publishing
BERING STRAIT by Tom Manning (writer and illustrator of the critically-acclaimed graphic novels Runoff and ERIC) takes us to humanity’s prehistoric origins with a dark account of what it took our ancestors to survive. The story follows a Neanderthal tribe in Siberia as they journey toward a promised destination and seek to understand what it means to be a chosen people. The tribe calls themselves the Awake People, meaning that they are aware of present reality and do not engage in mystical or otherwise imaginative practices.
Their pilgrimage begins when a revered elder receives a message from a mysterious entity promising to show them the way to a land of bounty if they follow a herd East across the Bering Strait. As the Awake People undertake the journey, however, they are met with a world more chaotic and terrifying than their worldview allows them to understand. Facing threats from the environment, supernatural occurrences, distrust among their ranks, and the unpredictable actions of a rival tribe known as the Lost People, the Awake People find themselves in direct encounters with their worst fears.
The black-and-white story is gritty and gripping, with frames that focus on individual aspects and force the reader to identify with the feeling of being small against the unknown. The result is a narrative that moves along slow enough to keep the viewer in suspense as the action picks up and the somber drama unfolds.
Similar to ERIC, BERING STRAIT meditates on the relationship between dream-like perception, reality, and the journey to self-discovery. The path to knowing oneself does not always lead to empowerment and gratification, however. Manning’s works remind us that the truth is the thing we least want to face, and, if we do not let it change us, it can be lethal.
BERING STRAIT is now available on Amazon. It will also be distributed by Diamond to be listed in the APR20 previews.