Writer & Artist: Claire Scully
Publisher: Avery Hill
A review by Amelia Wellman
A journal of a sequence of events occurring over a period of time and location in space. So begins Internal Wilderness, a comic with no words that explores a variety of themes, including the relationship between humans and their environment from a purely visual perspective.
The book’s creator, Claire Scully, has said that the story of Internal Wilderness is part of an ongoing project looking at landscape and memory, with our relationship with the environment, the effects we have on the world and space around us, in turn affecting our own memory and emotions.
Each landscape within Internal Wilderness is supposed to show a starting point to a bigger adventure. Either a distant memory or a desire to see parts of the world that can only be dreamed about. None of this is spelled out until the last page, as it acts as the author’s mission statement. The entire ‘story’ goes without a single word. And yes, there is a story, it’s just not being told how we’re all used to. If I’m not completely off base with my assumptions, Internal Wilderness is a story that you create yourself while you read. These are landscapes meant to give you insight within yourself, to let your mind wander and create as it sees fit.
The art of Internal Wilderness is nothing but landscapes. Each page is different but also very similar. It really is like going through your own memories after time has passed, as everything seems like something you know until you look at it closer. Every landscape is shown in two shades of blue and black and white. There are repetitive patterns that move throughout the whole book and everything is very round and flows together. The images are flat with thatching used for shadows and depth, which digitally, doesn’t do it justice. A physical copy will definitely be the superior way to enjoy this comic.
Check It Out. This is a strange comic to recommend. If you want characters, action, or a narrative, there’s not a thing in Internal Wilderness that you’re going to like. If, however, you’re interested in something more out of the box, something that will be a wholly different experience for you than it will be for everyone else, Claire Scully’s on-going project of wordless landscapes pulled from memories and dreams might be right up your alley.