The description on the cover of Ley Lines #9: Enter, Holy Pilgrim, is simply “A troubled serf seeks spiritual guidance on a pilgrimage”. Laila Milevski explores this drive, this calling to take to the road to discover something. Her main character is in a bad position, after the able bodied men in her family passed away, her family’s debt to the lord of the manor are overdue, but she can has asked for a delay to undertake a pilgrimage, something she hopes will allow her a way out, or at least a way forward. She has gone to her local church for guidance, but the words heard there are too common and useless. “I didn’t hear the Seigneur, nor his mother. Ma mère et ma reine. Toute seule, j’étais toute seule.” The words are holy, but the feelings are not. As she wanders the dark halls of the church near her house, she feels alone. She is alone. The pilgrimage then becomes a way to escape her predicament and to buy time to find a solution, but underneath this practical layer, it is to seek spiritual guidance.
Milevski’s art is printed in burgundy ink on a cream paper. The burgundy ink gives the comic a truly unique look and a warmth that I rarely see. She is able to masterfully play with light and darkness, an important element since light is such an integral part of the story. I can’t think of a better artist for this tale. Her characters are evocative, her focus on architecture is detailed and appropriately picturesque. It’s a beautiful comic. I’ve read it when it came out and multiple times since. It’s a dark, yet very hopeful comic of the kind that creates fans for life. You’ll want to see all of Milevski’s comics.
Ley Lines has quickly established itself as one of the most avant-garde comic publishing project of the moment. A comic book is a piece of art in its own way, but how does art influence comics. What does the work of Egon Schiele, Pablo Picasso or Cy Twombly bring to comics? What are their influence on artists creating comics? This is a valuable dialog to engage in. By giving space to artists to explore their artistic interests in their own way allows for an exciting way to look at comics as an art form, not simply as an insular self-referencing genre. but as an endlessly malleable mold. This issue is just another example of the relevance of this project. With plenty more issues to come this year, it is a worthwhile dialog to jump in.
Ley Lines #9: Enter, Holy Pilgrim
Czap Books & Grindstone Comics