Author: Anna Bowles, Sloane Leong
Publisher: TKO Studios
First Published: October 20, 2021
Genres: Horror, LGBTQIA+, Paranormal
Ilsa lives alone in a large mansion deep in the woods. Ilsa has always lived here, though not always alone. Ilsa has a hunger, she likes to hunt, she likes to skin, and carve, and clean.
Now Ilsa has hired the young Marie to help her keep the big house tidy. But Marie brings demons of her own into Ilsa's domain. And watching these two strange birds locked in a cage is the house itself, cursed with sentience, destined to watch the horror of the human drama unfold again and again.
To say that this graphic novel shocked me is an understatement, but not because of the gruesome content. I’ll be honest that I didn’t enjoy the early parts of the story when I first started reading. I had put it down and didn’t feel the drive to pick it up for a few weeks after. I was initially put off mainly by the art style, it was too gritty for my liking. The choice of narrator was also initially strange, as the story is told from the point of view of a sentient mansion.
I’m glad that I sat down and gave this another shot with an open and fresh mind after a reading slump. Graveneye is a perfect example of the monstrous feminine in literature, of two women twisted and shaped by hunger. Lovingly told from the perspective of a crumbling mansion, the prose was beautiful and sets the mood. The greatest criticism I’ve seen of this work has been the choice of narrator, but I found that I actually enjoyed the story from the view of a quiet observer. Both characters were equally important, and I feel that a story told from either of their points of view wouldn’t have been any more engaging.
The choice of font while fitting, I did find difficult to read at times. The art at least was striking and dark, with neutral monochrome splashed with brilliant red. The monster in this story is feral but not quite a werewolf. The story embraces the seductive nature of violence while also condemning it which was a fine line to creep along. As someone that consumes a lot of horror media, this graphic novel stood out for the aspects that make it unique. I enjoyed it and would certainly pick it up to read again.
“Houses are never so impolite to hunger as women do.”
Trigger Warning: Extreme Gore, Graphic Animal Death and Taxidermy, Domestic Abuse, Disturbing Sexual Content, Violence, Cannibalism