Webcomics Watch: 'Nothing is Forgotten' by Ryan Andrews

I've been an avid fan of the sequential art of storytelling for a good fifteen years now and though my foremost love are superhero comics, I do enjoy other genres of the medium, as well as other forms such as manga and webcomics. This year, I decided to devote some time reviewing the latter because there are so many outstanding webcomics out there that are actually worth publishing in print. The best thing about webcomics, however, is how accessible it is since they are posted and updated online, so anyone around the world with internet connection can read them. My first pick of this year belongs to the anthology written and illustrated by Ryan Andrews. Thanks to a kickstarter campaign, his four unique comics were published, and I want to talk about them.

Nothing is Forgotten collects only four stories but these are stories that truly stay with you, and therefore fulfilling its titular quality of being unforgettable. You don't have to worry about the fact that you can't read this for yourself because these stories are all available here. I'm going to discuss each one from the least to my most favorite story, without revealing too much about their endings. Still, this review might not be that spoiler-free, so if you are interested to read the stories themselves, then I suggest you click the link for them, and then just come back to this review if you still feel like it.

With a short list of tales, it's quite easy to pick favorites and the truth for the matter is that I enjoyed all of them but if I had to pick based on personal preferences, I'll categorize them like this: my two least favorite stories are The Tunnel and Our Bloodstained Roof. These tales are the most visually striking of all the tales, however, and also the most horrific. You would think that I would choose them as my most faves, but the reason I didn't was simple. The completely imaginative The Tunnel whose illustrations were really creepy, and whose story operated on a metaphysical level, paled in comparison with Nothing is Forgotten, which is one of my two most faves. Both stories have a Twilight Zone vibe to them, especially The Tunnel which I think would translate so well in a five-minute short film. Both stories are also comparable because there are no narrative or dialogue boxes to read at all, and the images alone tell the story. I thought The Tunnel was brilliant and creepy, but Nothing is Forgotten had a more emotional resonance and heartfelt symbolism for me about grief and childhood trauma. The final scenes of both tales remain ambiguous, however.

My second least fave Our Bloodstained Roof is comparable to my first most fave Sarah and the Seed. These stories finally have words to them, and they move with a languid pace that slowly build up a suspenseful climax. They're also stories that center on family drama. In Our Bloodstained Roof, three brothers become fascinated with the death of several geese in their roof much to the chagrin of the father who suspiciously wanted them to think no more of it. For Sara and the Seed, an elderly couple's relationship was put the test when the wife started to display early signs of dementia because of her pathological fixation on a seed. Both tales unfolded like basic horror stories, only that Sara and the Seed had a happier and more satisfying conclusion. Our Bloodstained Roof had a perplexing ending that felt unresolved, making it quite frustrating to figure out.

I heartily recommend this anthology webcomic collection  by Ryan Andrews. The tales are exquisitely rendered visually, and the framework of the storytelling itself for each is searing and memorable, both uplifting for some, and baffling for others.



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