Nothing is Forgotten by Ryan Andrews

Comic: Nothing is Forgotten, A Collection of Short Stories
Release date: 2nd edition, July 2014
Writer: Ryan Andrews
Artist: Ryan Andrews
Cover: black/white
Interior: black/white with red/pink highlights
Synopsis: Nothing is forgotten. A collection of short stories, gathers four tales by Ryan Andrews.

In these pages, an elderly woman becomes the proud new mother of a large seed. Three brothers, afraid of revenge-seeking zombie geese, take it upon themselves to properly bury a fallen flock. Peculiar creatures reside deep beneath the trees of an old forest. And a dark, mysterious tunnel beckons you in for a closer look. 

The Deal

I ran across Ryan Andrews kickstarter campaign for the second edition printing of this comic. I found his artwork intriguing enough to pledge. Though I had the option to read the stories before buying them I decided not to. So when the envelope hit the doormat and I took out the comic it was all new to me.

The Feel

When I first open up the protective storage bag the comic comes in and feel the paper I'm amazed at the very professional end result. This is what comics look like when the printer takes a step up and goes beyond his duties. The cover is printed on slightly grainy paper that makes the book sit in your hand perfectly without sliding. There's a fold line half a centimeter next to the spine so the pages open up more easily. Even though the cover is completely black (or shades thereof) I can see no white on any of the edges.

The inside pages are printed on sturdy matte paper and the printer has made everything perfectly straight and aligned with the page before. The off-set printing has been done to a high standard and I really like the two highlight colors that appear in two of the four stories. Again I have to say all 132 pages have been printed to the highest standard.  

The Stories

First let me say that it's rare for me to read a comic cover to cover in one go. I usually stop a couple of times per book. This one, even though it has four stories and it would have been easy to stop, I didn't. I read them all in one fell swoop. They were so easy to read and get trough it felt amazing. 
The first story is 'Our Bloodstained Roof'. It's about a flock of birds that suddenly fall dead onto a young boys roof. It feels almost autobiographical (don't know if it is). The discussions between the father and his sons are very realistic and I felt their fear of the fallen geese.
The second story is 'Nothing is Forgotten'. It's about a young boy who finds peculiar creatures in the forest behind his house. This is a wordless story and a very emotional one at that. The whole story feels like a dream, but the ending is amazing. Believe in yourself especially when you're young. You might regret it later if you don't. I think that's at the base of the story but there's so much in it you might get something completely different from it.
The third story is 'The Tunnel'. I'd like to tell you something about it but I'm afraid I'll give away the answer. Again it's a wordless story and it had me running in circles trying to make sense of it. Great fun. Still think about it. 
The fourth and last story is the beautiful 'Sarah and the Seed'. The best story kept for last, about a woman who finally gives birth... to a seed. The buildup of the story is wonderful. I like how the husband starts thinking the wife has gone off her rocker, taking care of this seed (and making him take care of the seed as well). The story is built properly, panes have a different layout on every page but it's never hard to follow the right path trough the pages, following the story and living with Sarah and her seed. 
There's not a bad story among these four. I can see how the first edition sold out quickly. 

The Look

The stories don't differ that much in drawing style, I wouldn't expect them to because they are of the same artist. But there are some nice differences. Two stories (Our Bloodstained Roof and The Tunnel) benefit from a highlight color. Just the use of this one subtle color really makes a difference in the otherwise colorless artwork. 
The use of all these shades of grey (no pun intended) is masterfully done by Andrews. Especially noticeable in the second story (Nothing is Forgotten) where the mood, and the art, change from sad and moody to light and living. This story takes place on six panes per page (except for two pages). It's very easy on the eye.
His style is very realistic, every pane zooms in on what's important for us to see, so you are never bothered with unnecessary background 'noise'. 
I'm quickly running out of words to describe how brilliant the artwork is. 

The Conclusion

I love this book, I made all my friends read it and even the ones that don't like comics found the stories compelling and beautiful. I can't say it any better than this: 'Get this book!' Even if you don't like comics, you need to read these four, you'll love them.

How to get a copy?

Since Ryan Andrews lives in Japan it's unlikely you'll find them in many shops. But luckily you can get them directly from Ryan Andrews himself from his own website store. A paper copy (eBook also available) will set you back 21,00 US$ plus shipping from Japan where Andrews currently resides. I've never gotten any comic book that was as well packaged as this one, so no worries about the postal office giving it a beating.

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