The Eyrie by Thom Burgess, illustrated by Barney Bodoano
New folk horror-themed graphic novel The Eyrie draws on the folklore of author Thom Burgess’ native Sussex. It follows Rebecca, an American photo-journalist, who is sent to a remote part of Sussex on a job by her boss, staying in his old country house. Before she sets off to the local pub, she lights an old lamp she finds, to guide her home, and this signals to… something. Before long, she’s plagued by mysterious events: banging on her door in the middle of the night, devices losing power, mysterious figures turning in photographs, and terrifying, not quite human apparitions.
Compelling and eerie right from the start with its foreboding landscapes, The Eyrie is unsettling enough even before the supernatural elements coming creeping in. Once summoned, things escalate to the dreadful (in the best sense of the word) climax in a fashion that will make you feel almost relieved once the full horror of the situation is revealed.
Barney Bodoano’s gritty black-and-white art complements the atmosphere, encapsulating the bleak landscapes perfectly, with half seen figures in the mist adding to the menace.
One of the great things about the folk horror revival isn’t just looking back at the classics of the genre, but seeing the influence of them in contemporary works, and with its tale of coastal folklore, ancient objects and troubled locations, The Eyrie inevitably brings to mind MR James, but updated for a world where isolation can be conveyed by a lack of phone signal, and the encroachment of the weird by corrupted digital photographs.
Overall, this is a thoroughly enjoyable and creepy tale. If you’re a fan of the weird and eerie, well worth getting hold of.
Copies can be ordered at www.theeyrie.bigcartel.com.
Review by Scott Lyall.