Friday, September 6, 2013

The Deep, by Tom Taylor and James Brouwer

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"...Tom Taylor and James Brouwer can craft tension, comedy, action, and family dynamics with the best creators in the industry."

I came across The Deep while wandering the floor of San Diego Comic Con this year. The cover and title immediately caught my eye and when Gestalt Comics' editor-in-chief, Wolfgang Bylsma, started talking, everything he said made me want the book more:

1) "The Deep is about a family of explorers called the Nektons who live in a highly advanced submarine investigating the ocean's mysteries." If you've read this interview, you'll know why this hooked me.

2) "The Nekton's family dynamics feel like The Incredibles except they don't have superpowers and they're more Indiana Jones/Challengers of the Unknown than super spies." As much as I love The Incredibles, a group of educated, world-traveled explorers without superpowers can be far more inspiring to young audiences. You can't run as fast as Dash, but you can absolutely travel the world.

3) "The Nektons are a multiracial family." According to the 2008 census, 15% of families in the US are of mixed-race, with the multiracial population estimated to reach 21% by 2050, yet multiracial families are represented far less than that in media. The Nektons are a family like any other (though admittedly more awesome), and I love seeing a mixed-race family as the hero of their own series.

4) I don't think Wolfgang knew about his final selling point because it didn't have much to do with The Deep, but it sealed the deal better than anything else he could say. The writer, Tom Taylor, had been asked to do work on the animated series Teen Titans Go and turned it down. Since TTG is terrible (IMHO) and replaced one of the best animated series in the past decade, Young Justice, this got me to hand over my card immediately.

Many novels, comics, TV shows, and animated series claim to be "All Ages", but only a few truly pull it off. The Deep is one of them. Volume 1, Here Be Dragons, is a solid introduction to the family, their mission, and the world they live in, but it's Volume 2 that made me want to push it under the noses of everyone I could find. The Vanishing Island expands on the mystery hinted at in Here Be Dragons and shows that Tom Taylor and James Brouwer can craft tension, comedy, action, and family dynamics with the best creators in the industry. I can not wait for Volume 3.

So if you're looking for great story, stunning art, and incredible (no pun intended) role models for your kids, track down a copy of The Deep. You won't regret it.


Living in the San Diego area? Check out my favorite *Friendly Local Comic Shop, Southern California Comics. Hands down the best staff, selection, and comic knowledge in San Diego.

You can find out more about The Deep on their website:


ADDENDUM: I have it on good authority that The Deep has been picked up as an animated series. The company hasn't been released yet, but my bet is on Nickelodeon. I don't have a release date yet, but I suspect we will see it sometime next summer.

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